Are you over 18? – Yes!
Are you a company director? – Absolutely Yes!
Have you kids? – Most Definitely Yes!
It is a common misconception that drafting a Will really only needs to be considered by those who are nearing “old age”. There are also quite a few business owners, sitting on complex business structures, yet they haven’t taken the time to put their Will in place (or update it regularly) for fear it may bring about bad luck.
The reality is that provided you are 18 years of age or older, a Will can be entered into at any age and by taking the time now you can ensure your family (or whomever you would like to benefit from your estate) can receive what is rightfully theirs in a simple, tax-efficient and uncomplicated manner.
The best way to think about your Will is to view it as something similar to an insurance policy. It is not that you want to use it straight away, but rather, if it is needed it will be some comfort for your loved ones to know that your Will is there and can be called upon to distribute your estate to the person(s) you want to receive it. Most importantly a well-considered Will is the best device to avoid a row being left behind when you die.
As most people are aware, a Will sets out instructions on how and when you would like your assets to be divided upon your death. Depending on the circumstances it can also provide instructions as to how family members should be looked after and by whom. If a Will has not been executed this means you will die ‘intestate’ and your estate will be divided in accordance with legislation. This takes time, costs money and may not always result in how you would wish your estate to have been divided.
There are many stories of wealthy business persons dying intestate and whilst their estate is going through ‘probate’ (the legal process to be followed if no will is present) their family have had to endure financial hardships owing to various assets being unavailable to them until the probate process has been completed.
Thinking about death is never pleasant. However, if you make your Will now the division of your assets will be one less worry for your family members to deal with. When making your Will decide who the most appropriate person(s) are to inherit your various assets and who should inherit any funds held in bank accounts etc.
Regardless of age, perhaps we all, and in particular business owners, should take time and to think about the effects an untimely death could have upon us, our family and our business.
Finally, if you want one more great reason to do a Will, then think of this. If you don’t do one, then there is a high chance that the biggest beneficiary of your life’s work will be the Tax Man!!!