If you are a business owner, it is crucial to consider what will happen to your company when planning for your estate. A proper business succession plan can create instructions for other board members, outline your eventual retirement, or include your company assets as a part of your estate. However, it takes attention to detail and legal experience to understand how these plans may interact with a Will or other testamentary documentation.
As such, it is important to work with an experienced attorney for help identifying business assets, creating realistic goals, and forming effective strategies for achieving your wishes. A Wake Forest business succession planning lawyer can guide you through every stage of the process.
Business succession plans can come into effect under two distinct scenarios. First, a plan may address a foreseeable event, such as a person’s retirement. In these situations, a party may want to leave instructions for a board of directors, order the sale of the company, or even transfer control to a family member or other heir.
The second purpose of a business succession plan is to prepare for unforeseen events. Here, the plan creates contingencies if or when an owner is unable to perform their duties due to incapacity or death. Regardless of your specific goals or needs, a Wake Forest attorney can help form a business succession plan that works for you.
A business succession plan largely functions in the same way as a Will. Although these plans are not subject to the state’s probate process, they do impact the state’s laws concerning intestacy.
The state’s intestacy laws go into effect when a person dies without a valid Will. Because an ownership interest in a company counts as an asset of an estate, a probate court has the power to divide business stakes according to North Carolina General Statutes § 29-15. Having a valid business succession plan is a good way to avoid these uncontrollable splits. Essentially, a business succession plan allows you to control what happens to your business assets after your death.
A lack of a valid plan could result in disaster for a company. A probate court may require the sale of a business with proceeds going to a person’s heirs, thus ending the company. Without a plan, an owner’s incapacitation could lead to fighting among their heirs, family, and board members. A business succession attorney at our Wake Forest office can help prevent these negative outcomes through careful planning.
In short, having a business succession plan means having control. Your interests in a company represent the culmination of your life’s work, so it is crucial to ensure that your final wishes will be respected when you retire or pass away.
The best way to work toward this is to craft a business succession plan. These plans can help you to retain control or transfer the company into competent hands in case of sudden illness, injury, or death. A Wake Forest business succession planning lawyer can also help you prepare for your retirement and accomplish your goals for the company, whatever they may be. Contact our firm today to discuss your circumstances.