“How Can Estate Planning Attorneys Help Business Owners?” by Attorney Laura T. Curry (Audio)
Estate planning attorneys provide help to people who own businesses who want those businesses to survive even after the owner’s death or departure. If you want your business to serve as your legacy and be handed down to the next generation, you need to ensure that you are prepared for what could happen to the company in case of your disability or death.
If you become disabled and cannot control the company any more, you should have a plan in place for someone to immediately take over the management of the business. A business succession plan and use of legal tools like a power of attorney or trusts can make it possible for an appropriate person to step in and take control over managing the company. You do not want a long delay in the new owners or operators taking control when you must leave the business, as this could cause an interruption in operations that is detrimental to the company’s continued success.
You also need to address the fact that you could face high nursing home costs if something happens to you and you cannot continue to live independently any more. You will need to make sure that you can cover routine nursing home care which is typically not covered by private insurers or by Medicare. Medicaid is usually the only source of third-party payments for a nursing home. Unfortunately, depending upon how ownership is structured, you may not qualify for Medicaid because of the value of the company or its assets. You will need to work with an experienced attorney to make sure you don’t have to sell business assets or sell your interest in a business to pay for nursing home care.
Protecting your company also requires you to make certain that the business can transfer quickly and efficiently after your death. If your company must transfer through the probate process, it can take months for this process to be completed and the company’s operations could be adversely impacted by the delay in the new owners taking ownership. You can use other techniques to facilitate the transfer of assets after your death.
If the value of the business is substantial enough that it will trigger estate tax, you’ll need to address this issue as well. You’ll want to work with your experienced attorney to avoid having your company ownership and all of your personal wealth taxed – which is especially important if you don’t have a lot of liquid assets and your loved ones would be forced to sell your business in order to afford the estate tax that is due on the company.
Working with your lawyer to protect your company requires you to address all of these issues. Your attorney can also help you to protect your personal assets, which could be at risk if your business is bankrupt or if your business is sued.
Getting Help from Annapolis Estate Planning Attorneys
Annapolis estate planning attorneys at Sinclair Prosser Gasior will provide the help and advice you need to reduce risks to your business and your personal wealth during the course of your life and after you pass away. We know the ins-and-outs of business succession planning and asset protection and we can offer you assistance in creating a comprehensive plan that protects your wealth and your legacy.
To find out more about the many services our legal team offers to business owners, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 410-573-4818 or contact us online to get personalized help making your plans. Give us a call now to get started.
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