Most family businesses are operated within complex structures such as family trusts or companies… and often a combination of these.
Most of these business structures still provide potential tax benefits and other important benefits such as asset protection for key family members in the business.
Lately, there has also been rapid growth in the use of self-managed super funds for family investments.
The effect of this is that, apart from the family home, most of a business owner’s assets are now owned in a manner that is difficult… to control in their Will. Most family business and investment assets are held either in family trusts, family companies or self-managed super funds.
Managing the ownership succession of your assets, or just planning for an untimely accident or illness, needs careful planning and consideration.
Some questions that might arise for you, as a business owner, to assist in the smooth operation of your business should an untimely event occur include:
Does a straight-forward Will make provision for family business and investment structures held by family trusts, family companies or self-managed super funds?
Do you have a business plan so that in the event of accident or illness business decisions are carried out by the appropriate people?
Does that business plan contemplate who the new directors of your family company or trustees of your family trust should be?
Does your business plan cater for a smooth transfer of business assets in a fashion that is fair and reasonable to all family members and avoid potential conflicts down the track?
The successful structuring of inter-generational wealth transfers and succession arrangements needs trusted advisors who have the skills, experience and resources to deal with a full range of issues.
If you have any questions at all relating to the above, please do not hesitate to contact our Estate Planning Team.