Effective estate planning must take every part of a person’s estate into account. For many people, this may include a controlling interest over a company. In other cases, it may involve the ownership of significant shares in a corporation or the role of a sole proprietor. In any event, control over a business falls into the category of estate property after a person’s death. As a result, it is essential to make proper plans for what is to be done with one’s business interests after death.
In addition, having a proper business succession plan can provide peace of mind should an incident occur that leaves a person unable or unwilling to perform their role as a business owner. A sudden illness or injury could leave a person incapacitated and jeopardize the future of the company. One way to keep control in the face of the unknown is to craft a legally binding business succession plan.
A Raleigh business succession planning lawyer can help the owners of companies to plan for the future. A skilled attorney could assist with drafting plans that foresee an eventual retirement and provide insurance against a sudden inability to perform one’s role as an owner.
A business succession program is a vital part of an estate plan. These plans give instructions to the executors of estates as to what to do concerning how the deceased wishes their company to be handled after their passing. These plans may transfer control to a nominated heir, order the sale of a company, or leave directions for a board of directors.
A business succession plan does not need to take a specific form. However, it is essential that these plans leave no ambiguity as to what a person’s desires will be. This applies regardless of whether a plan takes effect after death, incapacity, or retirement. In fact, many business owners craft these plans as a way to transition into retirement on a set date. A Raleigh business succession planning attorney can provide more information about the role that these plans can play in effective estate planning.
One major benefit of having a business succession plan is that it provides clear instructions during the probate process. Probate exists to ensure that a decedent’s estate transfers to nominated heirs and that creditors receive the money on which they have a claim. While most people have a Will that deals with personal property and assets, having a business succession plan can result in a similar process for one’s company.
It is essential to remember that an ownership stake in a business is part of one’s estate after death. According to North Carolina General Statutes § 29-15, this means that a failure to provide clear instructions in an estate plan can see that stake trickle down to one’s heirs without regard for the company’s future. For instance, state law says that if a person dies without a living spouse, all children receive an equal share of estate property. This may result in the supervised sale of a company to ensure that all children receive equal payments. Having a proper company succession plan in place can see total control pass to a nominated heir, regardless of whether or not that heir is a child.
Creating and running a successful business is the culmination of a life’s work. Whether a person is a majority shareholder in a corporation or is the sole proprietor of a small business, it is essential that they make plans for when they are no longer able to keep running the company either due to death, incapacity, or voluntary retirement.
The most effective way to achieve this is to create a business succession plan. These plans can cover vital topics such as the transfer of stock, the sale of company assets, or directions for a board of directors. A Raleigh business succession planning lawyer can help you to identify your goals and draft legally binding plans. These plans can provide peace of mind for the future and ensure that a company survives for your heirs. To learn more, call our office today and schedule an initial strategy meeting.