Have You Completed Your Business Will?

Written by Brad Arsenault on Oct. 14, 2014

When it comes to Estate Planning for Canadian’s there is no document more important to the successful distribution of assets than the Will.  

TO HAVE OR NOT TO HAVE…THAT IS THE QUESTION 

Most business owners would agree that the best opportunity for success comes with a well built and implemented business plan. But what happens if the business plan is interrupted by a triggering event such as a death, a major illness, divorce, bankruptcy, or a partnership dispute? How drastically would the business value be eroded?

The completion of the Business Will (a.k.a. the Unanimous Shareholder Agreement or USA) offers many benefits, not the least of which is protecting the value of the business for all shareholders. It is an essential document to reduce your exposure to litigation, and unnecessary taxes. However, creating a USA can be a difficult project to complete because it requires the parties to outline the process that will be followed in the event of a triggering event; and must be agreed to by all shareholders.

Whether your company is in start-up, growth, or transition to new owners, such as children, employees or a third party, you should consider completing or reviewing your USA. Significant succession and estate planning opportunities have been missed when Shareholder Agreements are not updated.

This article was provided by Brad Arsenault of Clark&Arsenault – The Business Succession Advisory. Brad has over twenty years experience working with Insurance and Investment Advisors throughout Western Canada. He can be reached at Brad@ClarkandArsenault.com or click here to  visit his website

Brad Arsenault

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