Advice: Family businesses need the will to succeed

A will should be planned and put in place as early as possible so that everyone knows where they stand in relation to the long term future of a business.

“This area is of particular importance for family companies to ensure ownership of the business is in the hands of the right family members,” commented Tim Mills, associate director at Blackburn-based accountants and business advisers Pierce.

Tim Mills PIERCE

“It’s vital to ensure the business passes to members of the family best placed to carry on the business. There may be a number of family members working in the company, but the ultimate ownership of shares may not lie with them – it might still lie with an older generation.”

An issue that commonly arises following the death of an owner or majority shareholder is company ownership passing to family members who have no interest in running the business. Tim added: “The process of agreeing share valuations and potentially raising finance to enable the business to be put in the hands of those wanting it can be stressful and particularly unpleasant following the passing of a loved one. Estate planning incorporating a will is a relatively simple and inexpensive way to prevent this situation arising.”