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Creating an estate plan requires an evaluation of all your assets. Most people think about their family home, investments, and personal property as falling under this category. However, the law in Raleigh also considers a controlling stake in a business as part of one’s estate. As a result, working on an effective business succession plan with a skilled attorney is vital. Not only can these plans state what you want to happen to your company after your death, but they can also serve as a way to prepare for illness, injury, or eventual retirement. The role of a Raleigh business succession planning lawyer is to help individuals to identify their assets, assess their goals for the future, and better understand this area of law.
A company may represent years of hard work and play a vital role in the community. An estate plan can help preserve this legacy and support structure even as business owners retire or pass away. The first step in this process is the proper identification of all business assets. For sole proprietors, this may include real estate, bank accounts, and even intellectual property. If a person is a large shareholder in a corporation, these assets may include the value of stock as well as voting rights during corporate elections.
Identifying goals for these assets in the future is a crucial part of creating a business succession plan. Options may include:
When working with Raleigh business owners, an attorney’s job is to help identify their assets and determine what they want to occur in the event of death, illness, or retirement.
A business succession plan is a testamentary document, much like a Will or Trust. Accordingly, probate courts must take the language of these documents into account when dealing with a person’s estate. For example, a business succession plan could leave all of an individual’s assets in a company to an heir, much like in a Will. One role of a business succession lawyer is to help avoid the state’s intestacy laws. These are laws that determine what happens to a person’s assets if they die without an estate plan. North Carolina General Statutes § 29-15 mandates an order of inheritance for all assets not mentioned in a Will or succession plan. Having a business succession plan helps to avoid these complex and often messy outcomes. However, a business succession plan can contemplate more than just a person’s death. These documents can set up a person’s eventual retirement or provide instructions should the business owner suffer an incapacitating illness or injury. In short, a proper business succession plan in Raleigh can provide for both the planned and unforeseen future.
One often overlooked part of estate planning is considering the future of one’s business assets. These could include shares in a large corporation that constitute a controlling interest, a partnership, or sole ownership of a company. Regardless, these assets are subject to state laws concerning inheritance. The role of a Raleigh business succession attorney is to properly catalog these assets, listen to your goals for the future, and craft documents that make these goals a reality. Contact our legal team today to learn how we could help you.