That is a huge concern for many Baby Boomer business owners these days.
They have worked incredibly hard to build a profitable business and do not want it "taken" by the government or predators.
The Huffington Post considered this common concern in a recent article titled "5 Things Estate Planning Can Do for You and Your Business."
If you have built a successful business, then you should not be surprised that co-owners, family members, and ex-spouses can suddenly come out of nowhere to claim some of the fruit of your labors.
Fortunately, some strategic and savvy estate planning moves now can protect your business from "unexpected circumstances" later.
Estate planning can be used by business owners to avoid untoward events and prevent seizure and depreciation of the business assets.
Here are some good estate planning pointers to consider:
More options for your business.
Solid estate planning includes creating a buy-sell agreement.
If your business has one or more co-owners, this agreement ensures that upon the death of any owner, the interest of the deceased is automatically purchased by the other owner(s).
The beneficiaries of the deceased owner, such as the spouse, children, or other family member cannot unintentionally become owners.
This strategy can alleviate some stress in an already stressful situation, especially immediately after the death of an owner or part owner of a business.
Guarantee the longevity of your business.
Sole proprietors, small businesses, and big companies all want to pass their enterprises to future generations to keep their legacies alive.
Estate planning can ensure the longevity of your business with a business transition plan.
A business owner can transfer business assets to his or her children and retain a source of income by establishing a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT).
This will help make sure that when business assets grow over time, the appreciation in equity and value of your business will not be hit with huge tax bills.
Succession planning for your business.
Good estate planning will ensure that your business is preserved and operated the way you would want it to run.
Any issues regarding the transfer of management and ownership when you are gone are effectively covered with proactive estate planning.
Plan for the future.
A good succession plan for your business could take several years to create, so start early. This can help you see the bigger picture for your business and present new ideas.
The key to success is to plan and not procrastinate.
Contact an experienced estate planning attorney who has been there and done that.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify. Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Huffington Post (March 31, 2016) "5 Things Estate Planning Can Do for You and Your Business"