We understand why business owners may want to put off estate planning. After all, estate planning is about making arrangements to ensure that your business is taken care of if you die or are incapacitated. While it may not be the most pleasant subject to think about, most folks want to ensure that their business continues to prosper and grow after they are gone. Estate planning may be easier to take care of if you follow some simple tips and strategies.
1. Make Decisions About the Future of Your Business
Before you start any estate planning paperwork, you should know the answers to some important questions regarding what you want to happen with your business after you pass away. Some of these questions include:
- Who will inherit your business?
- What happens if your first choice is not interested in running your business?
- Do you have children who are interested in continuing with the business?
- Is trust needed?
Knowing the answers to questions like these will make estate planning for your business much easier.
2. Ensure That All of Your Records Are Up to Date
If you are someone who doesn’t have an organized system for important business documents, you may want to change that now. Keeping documentation up to date and well-organized will help simplify estate planning. Some of the important documents you may want to pay close attention to include tax returns, articles of incorporation, and insurance policies.
3. Have Conversations with the Important Parties That Will Be Impacted by Your Decisions
Having conversations with the people who are impacted by your estate planning decisions may help avoid any complications after you are gone. For example, if someone is not interested in running your business after your death, you can find out beforehand and adjust your plans accordingly.
4. Minimize Your Taxes
While you are estate planning, you should look for ways to minimize the tax burdens on your business.
Businesses can suffer from aggressive taxes after you are gone. There are tax breaks under Section 303 and Section 6166 that you may be able to take advantage of to limit your tax exposure.
5. Look into Establishing a Trust
Another way to shield your company’s assets against aggressive taxation is by putting them in a trust. Placing your company’s assets into a living trust allows you to move them in and out based on when you need them. Trusts can be complex, so it is a good idea to ensure that you have legal representation that can guide you through whether it is the best choice for you.
6. Draft a Succession Plan
Estate plans do take a while before they take effect after your death. A good succession plan will ensure that there is no chaos in the time before it is implemented. Your plan should include who will take over during this time.
7. Contact an Attorney Who Can Guide You Through Estate Planning
It is crucial that you get advice and guidance from an attorney who can guide you through the complex process of estate planning. They can ensure that all of the details are ironed out, so your business can continue to thrive. Contact FIDE Law, PLC at (540) 371-4500 to get the expert estate planning assistance your business deserves.