YBC Academy : Why Have A Will

This is the story of two brothers, Scott and Joseph, who ran a successful car dealership which they jointly owned.
Tragically, Joseph was killed in a car accident. He was only 51 and, as his family were about to discover, unfortunately he did not have a Will.

Joseph had lived with his long term partner Annabel but as they weren’t married she was entitled to nothing from his estate so she decided to make a legal claim against his estate. The cost of this, win or lose, would be paid for by Joseph’s estate.

Joseph had two children, that he did not have a good relationship with, from his previous marriage and, because there was no Will, they would inherit his entire estate under the intestacy rules. Wanting to keep their father’s money, they challenged Annabel’s claim.
The cost of this legal action was so substantial that Joseph’s share in the business had to be sold to cover it.

But Scott didn’t want to lose half the business to a stranger so he was forced to take out a large loan to buy Joseph’s share from his estate. By this time the family relationships had reached breaking point.

Joseph’s children could see that the size of the estate was decreasing rapidly due to the escalating legal fees so they were forced to settle out of court.

Joseph had spent his life building a successful business and a sizeable estate for his family but, because he’d not made a Will, what was left of the estate was now a mere fraction and his family were no longer speaking to each other.

Annabel and his children got very little and the business was left with such an enormous debt that Scott had to close the company and declare bankruptcy.

All of this could have been avoided with the right Business Will and planning. The business could have continued unaffected by Joseph’s death.

It’s easy to think that this could never happen to us but unfortunately such occurrences are not uncommon.

If you don’t have a Will, it’s essential to take action as soon as possible to ensure your assets are secure. And if you do have a Will, does it protect your family and business as you intend?

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