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  • Writer's pictureLayman Law

Business Succession Planning and Estate Planning

Integrating a business succession plan with an estate plan involves considering both the business and personal assets of the business owner and ensuring that a comprehensive plan is in place to address both the transfer of ownership of the business and the distribution of personal assets after the business owner's death. This sounds simpler than it sometimes is as each family and business are unique. However, there are several steps to integrating a business succession plan into an estate plan that are important to each succession plan, including:

1. Determine Business Succession Goals: The first step in integrating a business succession plan with an estate plan is to determine the goals for the succession of the business. Who should succeed the current owner and when? What does the transition look like? Many business owners may have contemplated these matters but never put pen to paper to confirm them. This is a critical first step in the process.

2. Assess Personal Estate Planning Needs: The next step is to assess the personal estate planning needs of the business owner. This may include considering factors such as the size of the estate, the ownership structure of the business, and any potential tax implications of the transfer of ownership. Our team can advise you about each of these factors.

3. Review Estate Planning Documents: The business owner and our team should review the

existing estate planning documents, such as a will, trust, and powers of attorney, to ensure that they accurately reflect the business succession goals and personal estate planning needs.

4. Consider the Use of Trusts: Trusts can be an effective way to transfer ownership of a business and ensure that personal assets are distributed according to the business owner's wishes. Trusts can also be used to minimize tax liability, protect assets from creditors, and minimize the risk of potential litigation.

5. Update Estate Planning Documents: Once the business owner has determined their business succession goals and assessed their personal estate planning needs, they should update their estate planning documents to reflect these goals and needs. Our team of skilled attorneys can prepare documents to help you accomplish your estate planning and business succession goals.

6. Communicate the Plan: It is important to communicate the business succession plan and estate plan to all relevant stakeholders, including family members, business partners, and key employees. This will help ensure a smooth transition and minimize the risk of disputes.

By integrating a business succession plan with an estate plan, business owners can ensure that their legacy continues long after they are gone. Schedule an appointment with our team to discuss your business succession planning needs.

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