At Gibbons Law Firm in Lake Ozark, we have a lot of respect for small business owners. We have helped numerous business owners with legal advice on starting and structuring their businesses and have provided guidance on estate planning for their businesses as well. There is a lot to consider when it comes to deciding what will happen to your business if you were no longer around to run it. We know when you own a business, you put your heart and soul into it. Quite possibly, your family’s financial well-being depends on its success. That is why we wanted to dedicate this week’s blog to estate planning for business owners at the Lake of Ozarks. If you are a business owner and want to know what you should be thinking about in order to determine what will happen to the company you worked so hard to create, keep reading this blog!
1) Who will own your business
The first thing to think about is who do you want to own your business. Without an estate plan, it will most likely go to a close relative or spouse. But if your family is not very involved in the business or would not know how to run it or sell it for a good price, that may be more of a burden for them. You have the option of naming an executor or trustee who is more knowledgeable about how to handle the finances of the business. Or, if you have business partners, you may want them to buy out your part of the business. If so, it may be advisable for the partners to have life insurance on the other partners to provide funds for such a buy-out if one partner dies. Either way, it will be important for you to have your wishes legally documented.
2) Who will run your business
If you do not have partners who will buy out your portion of the company, and you do not have a family member who is willing or able to run your business, you will want to choose a potential successor. You will want to communicate with that person and include them in the decision, of course. You will also want to create a plan for that person to follow for a smooth transition. They will need access to important documents and accounts, insurance policies, financial information, access to online accounts, etc. and all that information should be well organized and in a convenient location. In addition, providing training for that successor will be key to helping them successfully navigate their new role.
3) Probate & Estate Taxes
It is well worth the planning to avoid having your business go through probate. Many businesses don’t survive the loss of an owner because of the estate tax burden that is incurred when the estate is inherited by a family member. Sometimes the business must be liquidated to pay that tax liability in time. With proper tax and legal considerations, there are ways to give the business more time to pay that tax and potentially avoid a quick and pressured sale.
Have the Peace of Mind that a Business Estate Plan Can Bring!
If you are ready to get started creating your business estate plan, then call our Lake Ozark law firm today to schedule your first consultation. It is free! Your business has always been a top priority for you, protecting it in the event that something unexpected happens to you should be a priority as well. Just as you are intimately familiar with running your business, GibbonsLaw Firm is very familiar with how to protect your company with a comprehensive business estate plan. Let us bring our expertise to the table for you. Speak with one of our experienced Lake Ozark estate planning attorneys right away! To stay up to date on our latest announcements, please follow us on our social media channels below.