No matter how big or small, planning for your business when you die is an essential conversation to be had.

Protecting the future of your business

We know planning for your business is different for everyone.

And we know from experience that if you do not plan for what happens to your business when you die, it could mean any of the following:

  • A healthy business unnecessarily ceases trading at your death
  • Loss of the value of the business which otherwise could have been capitalised
  • The unnecessary loss of jobs from your workforce
  • Your spouse inheriting your shares and running your business
  • You not deciding who is going to run your business.

This may sound dramatic but it happens all too often. However, when Hamilton Legacy is working with you, before the worst happens we can help shape a better future – the one you want for your business and your family.

Lasting Powers of Attorney can be an important part of this too.


As a starting point, we ask clients some of the following questions:

  • Could my business continue to trade without me or will it die with me?
  • Could my business be sold at my death?
  • What assets does it hold?
  • What cash is sat in the business?
  • Who could continue to run it?
  • Do I want my spouse to run it, do I want them to own the shares at my death or would it be better for them to have the money instead if it is sold?
  • Could the business afford to buy the shares from my spouse?
  • What would happen to my business if I became mentally incapacitated?

Tax relief for your business

The value of a business can pass free of Inheritance Tax at your death, meaning it qualifies for a tax relief called Business Property Relief. However, some businesses will not qualify. This will depend on whether your business is a ‘trading’ business or an ‘investment’ business. Some businesses are a combination of both and whether they will qualify for Business Property Relief is a complex area and something we will investigate on your behalf and advise accordingly.

Tax Relief - Coins

“You have worked extremely hard to build your business, it is essential that you don’t let it die with you.”

Business considerations for one of our clients

Sandy and Mary run a meat-packing business together.  They want to keep it going after they retire to give themselves an income, but they also want the surviving spouse to have an income if one of them dies.  They think their children may also be interested in joining the business going forward but they are not sure. Equally, they can see that if one of them dies, the survivor may want to sell up and travel.

The business is successful and could be worth in excess of £1 million.

Because there are so many elements that could vary over time, together with the potential inheritance tax bill should the business be sold, we would need to discuss the use of Trusts to create as much flexibility as possible, together with efficient tax planning.

What Happens Now?

“It’s never easy talking about death, particularly in relation to your business assets, but we gently guide you through this – making sure those you love get what you want them to have.”

Feel free to contact us for an in-depth discussion about your options, our fees, the process or anything else. Just pick up the phone or send us an email. We know from previous client experience that you will be pleased you did.

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