Legal Advice

Estate Planning for Small Business Owners

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Estate Planning

Everyone should make plans for their family should the unthinkable happen. This is not difficult, especially when you have an estate planning solicitor to guide you. Making a Will is an essential part of it, although there can be much more to it. But for those who own a business it is a little more complicated because they have to decide what they want to happen to the business and those who work in it, then implement steps to ensure it happens.

If the business is a partnership or has several owners, there must be plans to ensure they are taken care of. One way to do this is to draw up a legally binding buy-sell agreement. This will outline what you want to happen if a partner or co-owner dies, decides to leave or is forced to leave for some reason.

In the agreement will be details about

  • who can purchase his or her share of the business
  • under what circumstances such as retirement, death or disability and
  • what price they should pay such as market value, percentage and so on.

You should also discuss it with your lawyer or legal advisor who will be able to advise you what options are available and how to implement them, what to put in your estate plan and what common estate planning mistakes you should avoid. For instance you could sell the business, close it down or hire someone else to run it as you get older and find it more difficult to keep up the pace.

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