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Last Friday’s Can’t Take It With You programme on BBC2 highlighted the problems and issues associated with preparing the Wills for people with sizeable businesses they want to pass onto their children.
The first business under Sir Gerry’s spotlight had an issue with the apparent lack of management control of the business. It seemed to run despite itself and Sir Gerry was far from impressed with the way in which the owner had allowed it to deteriorate. This was a diversion from the planning of the Will, but highlighted a problem often encountered by Willwriters. Does the business have value when the owner dies, and who is likely to take it over? Sir Gerry found himself in the realm of estate planning which in turn involves finance experts as well as IFA’s. The possibility of Inheritance Tax implications and the appropriate powers to run the business during the estate administration are added complications to be resolved. The programme did not mention these.
Finally, the Will passed the business onto the spouse then the children in equal share. Of course this is TV entertainment not a lecture in estate planning, but this solution ignores business property relief and opens up a can of worms regarding re-marriage of the spouse, divorce of one of the children and unnecessary tax liabilities on the estate’s of the beneficiaries if they decide to sell their shares.
The second couple had an issue with ensuring that each of their two children would allow the business to continue and not sell their share. It appeared possible that the daughter might want to sell. The mother brought up the situation in which the daughter died, her husband re-married the business is not in the family. The daughter was very quick to reverse the question back onto her brother and met with silence around the dinner table.
The result was a simple Will with everything passing to the surviving spouse then the children. No mention of the clever planning through life assurance left in trust to buy out the half share of one of the children, or a discretionary trust to avoid tax.
Last Friday’s Can’t Take It With You programme on BBC2 highlighted the problems and issues associated with preparing the Wills for people with sizeable businesses they want to pass onto their children.
The first business under Sir Gerry’s spotlight had an issue with the apparent lack of management control of the business. It seemed to run despite itself and Sir Gerry was far from impressed with the way in which the owner had allowed it to deteriorate. This was a diversion from the planning of the Will, but highlighted a problem often encountered by Willwriters. Does the business have value when the owner dies, and who is likely to take it over? Sir Gerry found himself in the realm of estate planning which in turn involves finance experts as well as IFA’s. The possibility of Inheritance Tax implications and the appropriate powers to run the business during the estate administration are added complications to be resolved. The programme did not mention these.
Finally, the Will passed the business onto the spouse then the children in equal share. Of course this is TV entertainment not a lecture in estate planning, but this solution ignores business property relief and opens up a can of worms regarding re-marriage of the spouse, divorce of one of the children and unnecessary tax liabilities on the estate’s of the beneficiaries if they decide to sell their shares.
The second couple had an issue with ensuring that each of their two children would allow the business to continue and not sell their share. It appeared possible that the daughter might want to sell. The mother brought up the situation in which the daughter died, her husband re-married the business is not in the family. The daughter was very quick to reverse the question back onto her brother and met with silence around the dinner table.
The result was a simple Will with everything passing to the surviving spouse then the children. No mention of the clever planning through life assurance left in trust to buy out the half share of one of the children, or a discretionary trust to avoid tax.

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