Estate planning and passing on the family business
As Nevada small business owners are aware, owning a company as a family can be rewarding, challenging and stressful all at the same time. Some family members enjoy working together, but others have different paths. Therefore, dealing with passing on the business can be a delicate issue during estate planning.
Few people seek to create family squabbles, but even children who have no interest in being part of the business can feel slighted. However, if the business is going to remain in the family after the current owner’s death, making the right decision for the survival of the company must take precedence. It may be possible to provide another child or children with a different asset in order to even things out if necessary.
Death is not the only event to consider when dealing with the owner’s successor or successors. A plan needs to be in place in case of incapacitation as well. Creating a trust wherein the business will be taken over by chosen family members under either circumstance could help provide a seamless transition from one generation to the next.
Estate planning is not a “one size fits all” area of the law. Every Nevada business owner has his or her own considerations and unique set of circumstances. Fortunately, numerous options exist for creating an estate plan that achieves individual goals. A thorough review of the current business and family circumstances by an experienced estate planning attorney often reveals the best course of action. Once the plan is in place, everyone can return their focus to making the family business a continued success.
Source: post-gazette.com, “For many family-owned businesses, handing off the baton is tricky“, Kim Lyons, Dec. 26, 2014