It’s important for every adult in California to have some kind of estate plan in place. This can be as simple as designating beneficiaries on insurance policies and writing a will. For small business owners, it’s important to have two sets of plans in place. The first should be a standard estate plan for personal assets, and the second should be a plan of succession for the business.
A succession plan is one of the first documents any business owner should write. This will lay out specifics about who is expected to step in if the owner becomes unable to run the business due to disability or death. Another eventuality to plan for is retirement. Will the business be passed on to a family member or sold? All of this can be outlined in the succession plan.
Another document that every business owner should have in place is a revocable living trust. The named trustee will have permission to manage both personal and business assets should the business owner become disabled or pass away. In this scenario, the trustee has a duty to the beneficiaries of the estate. The named trustee should be someone trustworthy. A properly managed trust can be one of the safest and most tax-efficient ways to pass assets onto heirs.
It may be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney when planning for a complicated estate. An estate planning attorney may be able to suggest solutions that fit individual families and businesses to help minimize tax burdens on beneficiaries and ensure that everyone’s needs are provided for. Administering an estate doesn’t have to be painful; laying good groundwork and getting organized in the present can save time and streamline processes in the future.