Estate planning refers to more than just the transfer of personal assets. It is key to understand that businesses can also tie into the estate planning process.
If you own a sole proprietorship, are a legal partner at an enterprise, own stock in a close corporation, or are a member of a limited liability company, it is crucial that you work with a dedicated estates attorney to plan for the destination of ownership and business assets when you pass away. An O’Fallon business succession planning lawyer could help you categorize your business assets, come up with an airtight plan, and draft any relevant legal documents that make your wishes a reality.
Why Prioritize Business Succession Planning?
Family businesses create unique opportunities to acquire wealth and pass assets along to the next generation. Unfortunately, only 30 percent of family businesses survive past the second generation. Preserving a family business hierarchy is one goal a business succession planning lawyer can target.
Meanwhile, limited liability company members, partners, and small close corporation stockholders should prioritize business succession planning. Coming up with a plan allows them to confirm what will happen to their business when a principal exits for any reason. A knowledgeable O’Fallon attorney could help with this element of business succession planning.
The Benefit of a Business Planning Lawyer
There are many key ways that a skilled team member could help a company prepare for the future. To begin, a dedicated legal representative could help each owner of a business express their goals or expectations for what happens if a key member exits through retirement, incapacity, or death.
A knowledgeable attorney could also implement estate planning strategies to prepare for the transfer of a business. For instance, establishing appropriate contracts like buy-sell agreements can stop any squabbling among remaining owners when one exits. A buy-sell agreement specifies how other owners or key company members will purchase the departing owner’s business interest and how the management of the surviving company will be structured.
Some other key ways a business succession planning attorney could help include:
- Discussing the best operating entity prior to chartering a company or down the line
- Bringing business owners together to discuss employment terms, competition, confidentiality, product production and sales, and other company business that should be implemented in writing
- Mediating disputes among owners
- Establishing revocable or irrevocable trusts and drafting wills
- Participating in business valuation
- Explaining the benefits and drawbacks of different tax strategies
These duties are not exhaustive, and each business succession strategy should be tailored to each company and the owners’ goals. However, our detail-oriented business succession planning lawyers in O’Fallon focus on the big picture, from when an owner files charter documents to when that owner hands the keys to the next generation and beyond.
What Happens if No Business Succession Plan is in Place?
All business owners put their efforts into building a successful enterprise, but many individuals forget to consider what will become of their hard work when they leave. For instance, many family business owners have not planned for the inevitable, leaving their life’s work at risk. Additionally, business owners who do not draft a buy-sell agreement could risk losing their company to their ex-partner during a divorce. Finally, if a business owner dies intestate (without a will), they might risk transferring ownership of a company to the wrong relative.
A knowledgeable attorney in O’Fallon understands the many consequences of failing to engage in business succession planning and could help company owners keep their futures on track.
An O’Fallon Business Succession Planning Attorney Can Help
If you are a new business owner, now is the time to think ahead. Even you have been in business awhile, there is still time to plan. Eventually, you will leave your business, and you want to make sure it ends up in the right hands.
Our legal professionals are dedicated to building you a comprehensive strategy for exiting your business when you are ready and leaving it in a good place. As part of your estate planning process, speak with an O’Fallon business succession planning lawyer now.