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Can you just leave your business to your children in your will?

On Behalf of | May 15, 2024 | Estate Planning & Probate

Many people use this as the main or only method of transferring their wealth when they die. If you own a business, you may want to write in your will that you are leaving it to a particular person, such as your son or daughter.

You can certainly use your will to do this, but it’s important to remember that there is much more to running a business than having ownership of it. If you just leave it to someone without adequate preparation, it may not turn out to be as valuable a gift as you intended.

Running a business takes experience and knowledge

If your daughter has never set foot inside your business premises she will not know how to run it. If you want to leave it to her, you need to expose her to it as much as possible so she has the information and experience she needs to take over.

Consider how your choice will affect others

People matter in a business and a sudden change of ownership or management could have a negative effect. It might spook investors to find out you are no longer at the helm. Or trusted staff members might walk if your child who inherits it does not have the tact and charm you do.

They might not want it

Many family businesses die because the children do not want to follow in their parent’s footsteps. If you are thinking about leaving your business to your children, you need to talk to them to see if they want it and to what extent they would like to be involved. 

Getting legal help to learn more about how handing over a business could work will allow you to move forward and document your choices in your estate plan.

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