3 Reasons Your Estate Plan Should Include Your Business

Why your business needs estate plan? Imagine this for a moment: 20 years ago you quit your corporate job and launched the business you always dreamed of starting. You started at ground zero, and it took almost 5 years just to get into the black – but you did it. After 20 years of operation, your built-from-scratch venture is now a million dollar small business.

But because of an unexpected accident, you’ve suffered an untimely demise. The government steps in and slaps an estate/death tax on your business that reduces it’s worth by 50%. Family members, co-owners, and people you barely had contact with come out of the woodwork to begin taking their piece of the pie, and within a year, the business you spent 20 years building is now back to zero.

It sounds like a nightmare, but this has been a reality for many. That’s why you need a good estate plan to protect your business and your family.

An Estate Plan is a plan put in place to ensure that your estate (anything and everything you own) is distributed according to your wishes upon your death – while also minimizing taxes and ensuring that your beneficiaries receive the maximum amount of your estate.

Most people think about a personal estate plan, but, as a business owner, it’s crucially important to have an Estate Plan that takes your business into account.

Here are 3 reasons your Estate Plan should include your business:

  1. Overall value – It’s likely that your business accounts for the largest amount of your net worth, ie. what you will be passing on to your family. It’s vitally important to leave clear instructions and even assets to the next generation.
  2. Succession – Even though you are the owner of your business, often you aren’t the only one that depends on it. Co-owners, family members, employees, and valued customers all depend on your business outliving you and carrying on well. An Estate Plan allows you to put together a plan of succession to ensure that your business falls into trusted hands when you are gone.
  3. Minimize Taxes – Working with a skilled attorney or financial planner, you can put an Estate Plan in place that allows you to transfer business assets to your beneficiaries while ensuring the appreciation of these assets isn’t subject to overwhelming taxes, securing the max value for your beneficiaries.

Estate Planning – Protecting your legacy and loved ones after you are gone

Money, that double-edged sword that you can’t do with and you can’t do without. And every day, you work so hard, so that one day you can retire and live the rest of your life in peace and solace. Everyone wants only the best for their families and their loved ones. And it kills you to think that it will not be long before the rivers run dry and you’re left wondering “Well, how?” The answer is estate planning.

inheritance planning

There will come a time when life will come full circle and you should ask yourself now if you are well armed to come face to face with the reality of life, yes, death. It is only wise to think about what your dependents will fall back on once you’re gone. Although the thought of leaving your earthly body is a tad disconcerting and undesirable, it is, in fact, a reality that we must come to grips with. So, don’t let all the scary mumbo jumbo discourage you from doing what’s best for you and your loved ones.

Here are a few pointers to take away to leave the world knowing that you have aced the process of safeguarding and protecting your legacy and have left behind a healthy and self-sufficient family.

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Estate Planning: Don’t be fooled by the word ‘estate’. Estate planning literally means managing and transferring everything you own after you die. Your car, your apartment, savings and checking account, furniture, property, wealth, jewelry, life insurances and everything that has a certain value in the market. It involves the process of distributing your worldly possessions among your loved ones after you die.

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Source: mercury financial group

Creating a comprehensive estate plan in the presence of your financial planner and legal adviser, saves your family the hassle of dealing with fraudulent claims and property conflicts. In the United States, assets left to a spouse or any qualified charitable trust are not subject to U.S. Federal estate tax. Assets left to anyone else even the decedent’s children are taxed if that part of the estate has a value of more than $11,180,000.

No matter how large or moderate, everyone leaves behind an estate. An estate plan begins with a will or a living trust. A will provides instructions on how you choose to distribute your wealth and other possessions. However, it is not exempt from probate, which is essentially establishing the validity of a will in a court of law. Au contraire, a trust doesn’t have to die with you. You can appoint a trustee to manage your assets until your benefactor reaches the age where he or she can claim your possessions.

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Source: berkeley house clearance

Assets can stay in your trust as long as the beneficiary is a minor and will cascade to the aforementioned person per your living instructions. You should have 5 basic estate planning documents: A Will, A power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, a living will and a revocable living trust. Your legacy could be anything from robust credentials, extreme wealth, a myriad of titles or simply some joyous moments you lived out every day. Leaving behind a successful legacy is of utmost importance, because this is what truly tells your loved ones how much or how little you cared.

How would you like to be thought of after you’re gone? Whether you are a famous celebrity, a powerful business tycoon or an ordinary Joe, you want to be remembered fondly. And leaving behind a successful legacy is just the way to do that.

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Source: edelman financial services

Protecting your loved ones even after you’re gone: Most nuclear families today have only one breadwinner to provide for the rest of the family. An untoward incident or sudden demise of such a breadwinner can jeopardize his or her family’s safety and financial security. It is important to safeguard your family by setting some wealth protection goals. Purchasing a comprehensive and well rewarding life insurance is a sure fire way of securing your loved ones financially.

More information on Estate Planning

And as J.K. Rowling once said, “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” Well, one can safely say that she hit the nail right on the head. 

Have any questions? Need professional help? Contact our service professionals at Flagship Financial.