Estate planning is integral to the peace of mind of businessmen who have spent a large portion of their life building their business. Most businessmen have almost all their wealth tied up in their real estate. A business estate planning lawyer is the best choice for this task as he can help you with this tedious and complicated process. Professionals will ensure that there are no gaps in the plan and your heirs will face no litigation in the future.
Entrepreneurs need to take estate planning as a part of their long term business plan. The process is cumbersome and requires taking into account traditional questions. Such ranges from making a will, planning for medical liabilities and disability, tax efficiency, ensuring affordable legal fees and succession planning too.
How Is A Will Important?
A will is a basic document that every estate planner creates. The detailing must be perfect and should state how your business handling should take place or run after your demise. This important testament also requires you to list and allocate all your movable and immovable property amongst your legal heirs. The will ensures that the division of assets is as per your wishes and not according to the state laws.
Once a will sees the light of the day, you need to appoint someone you trust implicitly to bestow the power of attorney rights to manage the business and take relevant decisions in case you are incompetent to make them. A healthcare directive is also imperative as it designates someone to make medical decisions if the need arises.
Tax Planning Should Be Efficient: Estate Planning Lawyer
An estate planning lawyer will lay most emphasis on tax efficiency. Taxes eat away a large part of the inheritance. Tax laws are different from state to state and are often complicated. They may also change over time. It is important that you engage a professional to handle the estate and inheritance tax planning. Your legal heirs must pay the inheritance taxes. A lawyer can help minimize the tax implications in various ways. If you plan well, you can allocate your assets to a retirement fund like the IRA or 401(k). These assets and any income from insurance will not be a part of the probate. Moreover, this will reduce legal costs.
You might want to create a revocable trust for your family. Once you place your personal and business assets in the trust, your spouse will have access to the funds even before the probate is through.
Sorting Out Family Disputes Amicably: Estate Planning Lawyer
In the case your business structure and model hovers around your family only, you need to secure your family disputes and inheritance interests while estate planning. You need to be fair to avoid any issues that canaries after your death. In case one child doesn’t show interest in running the business, you may consider leaving the bulk of the business to the interested one and compensate the other with a larger share in personal property.
There are often issues when the bereaved spouse remarries. In such cases, the rights may pass on the new spouse and cause disruption. Furthermore similar issues can occur if your legal heir decides to share property rights of the business with the spouse, and there is an acrimonious divorce. Moreover, the assets then become a part of marital assets and may be a cause for concern for the heir. The handling of such issues and contingencies can take place by creating a watertight estate plan.
Succession Planning Is Integral to Estate Planning
The lines blur between pure estate planning and succession planning is your business is completely owned within the family. Moreover, the main focal point of succession planning is the preparation of the business to function in a viable manner or sold after your death. The succession document is very similar to a business plan to start with. It is a compilation of the various business details like the background of the business, a list of your target market and a mention of your competition too.
The plan suggests a roadmap on how the business will proliferate after your death. It also mentions who will be the key personnel that will assume important roles. Furthermore, the document should also contain the financial aspect of the business and how it should look going forward. The assets, current valuation and the profits along with the future projections should be correctly assessed and put on paper. Moreover, do remember to get the help of an estate planning lawyer to keep all your documentation in line with state laws.