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Special considerations for a small business owner’s estate plan

On behalf of Kadish & Associates Law Group posted in Estate Planning For Business Owners on Saturday, June 8, 2019.

Your estate plan has to be based on the circumstances of your life. This means that you might end up having to change the plan as time marches on and your situation changes. One thing that can add complexity to the situation is when you have a business that is depending on you. Thinking about the business and your family becomes the priority. While you are doing this, think about your family situation.

If you have a young child, you need to plan for that child. This means naming a guardian and coming up with a plan to provide for the financial needs of your children. You might need to think about setting up trusts. Ensure that you are setting up provisions in the estate plan that can help your children enjoy support from the business.

Just remember that these plans won’t go into effect if only you pass away. As long as the other parent is still alive, they will be able to care for the child. With this in mind, you may need to set up provisions for the child’s other parent to reap the benefits of some of the income from the company.

Another situation that requires special consideration is if you have a significant other but aren’t married to them. In this case, you need to ensure that property, including the business, isn’t going to be taken away from them if you pass away. In most cases, you can use joint tenancy with the right of survivorship to pass the home along but you may need other documentation to allow them to continue to be supported by the company.

If you don’t have a spouse or any children, you still need an estate plan. This enables you to outline who you want to have what when you pass away. If you don’t establish the plan, your assets and business will be handed out according to the intestate laws of the state, which means you won’t have any say in where those things go. The business might close and the employees might be without a job.

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