You are a business owner. As you sit down to do your estate planning, it is clear that your largest and most important asset is that business. What you have to decide is how it fits into your family’s future and how you need to address it within your plan.
For instance, maybe you want it to be your family’s income for years after you’re gone. That’s the security that you offer them. It’s not so much about giving them money when you pass away, as most people do. You are passing them an asset that will make them money perpetually, which could be far more valuable.
If so, you have to ask yourself things like:
- Who should run the company?
- Are your heirs qualified and willing?
- When do you need to start training them?
- What are the risks of leaving them the business?
- How can you divide the company up between multiple heirs?
- How does your spouse factor into the equation?
Another option, of course, is to sell the business. You may decide to do this if your heirs do not want to run it or cannot do so. Selling to an outside party will give you cash assets that you’ll divide among your heirs and beneficiaries in your estate plan. You must consider things like tax implications, trusts for heirs who are minors, how to divide the money fairly, and much more.
No matter what you decide to do, this can be a complex process. An experienced estate planning attorney can help you determine what legal steps you should take.