To create and build a successful business is one thing; making sure it lasts after you’re gone is an entirely different matter. There are many financial predators out there that will take advantage of a business at its most challenging time – i.e., when the founder retires or passes away – but thankfully there are also ways to protect the business you worked so hard to build. Estate planning isn’t the only factor that determines whether your business continues without you, but an estate lawyer will tell you it’s almost a sure bet that your business will fail if you don’t have the proper planning in place.
Here are three benefits that you can get from working with a Sacramento estate planning lawyer to help your business continue successfully when you’re gone:
Transition easily to co-owners
This first benefit is key if you have co-owners in your business. An estate plan allows you to specify your wishes to sell your share of the business to your co-owners rather than leave it up to your heirs, who may not want a continuing role in the business. A buy-sell agreement with your business partners would allow them to buy out your share of the business – at an already agreed-upon price – when you pass away. This is a good option to ensure your family has liquid assets at hand once you pass away or if, as stated above, your heirs are not in a position to take over your share of the business when the time comes.
Minimize your tax expenses
Many people take steps to minimize their estate tax burden for their personal finances, and the same principle applies to business holdings. Minimizing the taxes owed by your estate once you pass away can be achieved by creating trusts, corporate entities, and other types of legal planning. Keep in mind that your business may be subject to unnecessary taxes if you don’t plan properly beforehand. This lack of planning could force the premature sale or liquidation of company assets if you are incapacitated or deceased.
Create a business succession plan
A successful business owner knows what it takes to run the day-to-day operations day of their company. That being said, history is full of organizations (and empires, for that matter) that fail because of the transition to a next-generation family member or a new owner who was incapable of running things correctly. A proper succession plan can help you rest assured that your business is in the right hands. This plan allows you to legally select whom you want to take over your operations when you are unable to run your company or are ready to retire.
Want to learn more about how estate planning can benefit your business? Or would you like to have your current estate plan reviewed by an estate planning lawyer to make sure it protects your business? Contact me at 916.247.6868 to set up a consultation.