Writing a will is essential for small business owners, according to a tax expert.
The suggestion was made by Nicholas Hughes, a partner at Chiltern Tax Support, who said that if an owner or major shareholder dies intestate it could lead to problems for a company.
Writing in business publication Freshinfo, Mr Hughes explained that without a will, the law will dictate where shares end up.
"This affects surviving family members, and where shares or other business assets are held, it can also affect business partners, directors, other shareholders and the business itself," he continued.
In addition to uncertainty about ownership - a situation which could impact on the continuity of the firm - a partner dying without a will could affect the tax situation, Mr Hughes added, particularly relating to business property relief.
HM Revenue and Customs lists a whole business, a partnership, unquoted shares, and land, buildings and machinery among the items that can be eligible for business relief.
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Published on: September 12, 2008