Contentious Estates: How a family owned business can form part of the equation

During the administration of an estate, all assets and liabilities of the deceased must be investigated and declared to HMRC. This includes business interests. This can be a burdensome challenge for executors to deal with as estates which contain businesses are generally more complex.

This challenge is multiplied if the estate has become the subject of contentious probate proceedings; the most costly and lengthy disputes in both family matters and contentious probate matters more often than not involve businesses.

It is often said that valuing a business for inheritance tax purposes is an art and not a science. There are different bases upon which a business can be valued: property value; income yield; attractiveness within the market; net current assets; and so on. HMRC have specialist teams and negotiations over company values can take years rather than months. It is very important therefore not to negotiate a settlement, for example, until the tax position has been understood and agreed with HMRC.

Careful estate planning and sound advice from specialists in this area can mitigate the risks and so it is worth ensuring that your business, whether family owned or not, is fit for purpose to deal with disputes which may arise after your death. Succession planning and tax planning play a large part in getting your affairs in order. But there are also very simple ways of planning for the future, such as ensuring you have a will and considering the contents of that will carefully.

Barrett & Co provide a full service private client department which is able to advise you holistically on all matters, whether non-contentious or contentious. For further information please contact us. We would be delighted to assist.

Further Reading:

Is your business protected for the future?

Are you making a Will? Don’t overlook your digital assets.

Meet the Private Client Team – Juliette Spanner, Associate of CILEx

Get in Touch

If you would like further information, Nicholas Buckle offers an initial one hour fixed fee meeting at a cost of £95 (inc. VAT). During these meeting we can discuss your personal circumstances, options and possible next steps. Nick specialises on a broad range of contentious probate matters.

Due to the current circumstances, meetings can occur via telephone. We are hoping that meetings at our office in Reading can occur soon. Please call the office on 0118 9589711 or email [email protected] if you would like to book a meeting.

"barrettandco" and "Barrett & Co" are trading names of Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership incorporated in England and Wales under registration number OC356263, with registered office at Salisbury House, 54 Queens Road, Reading, Berkshire RG1 4AZ. Barrett & Co Solicitors LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority www.sra.org.uk (SRA Number 549694).

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