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Should you include your business in your estate plan?

| Jul 8, 2021 | Estate Planning |

If you’re a business owner in New Hampshire, you’ll want to include your business in your estate plans. Otherwise, your relatives and business partners might get stuck untangling this complicated asset if you become incapacitated or pass away unexpectedly. Planning ahead could protect your business partners, give your beneficiaries tax breaks and reduce the time that your estate spends in probate.

How can you plan ahead for your beneficiaries?

Writing a buy-sell agreement is an essential part of the estate planning process. When you make a buy-sell agreement, certain parties agree to sell their shares in the business after you die. This gives people an exit strategy so that they don’t get stuck with your business after your death.

You could leave stock for your beneficiaries in your estate plan. However, if you don’t plan ahead, your beneficiaries might have to pay a large percentage in estate taxes. An attorney may give you advice on leaving your stocks behind without sacrificing a large portion of them to taxes. Similarly, your attorney might help you create a living trust that passes the assets directly to your heirs after your death. This bypasses certain estate taxes and reduces the length of probate.

You might also want to buy life insurance for your family. If your business goes under, it might not provide for your beneficiaries after your death. Life insurance could help your family pay for expenses like medical bills, end-of-life care and funeral costs.

How else can you prepare?

Few assets are too small for you to include them in your will. If you forget anything, it could create issues and legal battles for your beneficiaries after your death. An attorney may help you include everything you need in your will and prepare for potential legal challenges. You might want to plan ahead if you expect certain family members to contest your will.

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