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Estate planning for small business owners

Small business owners living in New York or elsewhere have a strong incentive to create a will. Without one, it may be up to the government to decide who gets control of the business and its assets. This could have unintended consequences such as a spouse inheriting the company even if it isn't in that company's best interest. Furthermore, it is a good idea to have life and disability insurance as part of an estate plan.

To allow for an orderly transfer of ownership in the event of the current owner's death or disability, a succession plan should be created. The type of plan created will depend on whether the company is a sole proprietorship or a corporation. It will also depend on whether the business is run by a single person or if it is a family company.

Family members and others who are crucial to the plan's success should understand what it entails. They should also know where key documents are located and have access to digital files and other assets protected by a password or some other form of security. By working to create a plan as soon as possible, it is easier for survivors to respect a person's last wishes as it relates to their company.

An estate plan may help with asset distribution and other matters related to a person's passing. Those who own a company may be able to transfer it to a family member or key employee in a smooth and timely fashion. When properly constructed, an estate plan may make it less likely that a legal challenge will delay or prevent assets from being transferred. An attorney may be able to help create estate plan documents or review them as needed.

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