Succession Planning for Small Businessowners in the Conejo Valley
Family businesses come in all shapes, sizes, and industries. They are a vital component of the American economy. Unfortunately, many family businesses fall apart or experience a swift decline after the death of their founder. Not all family businesses fail for the same reasons, but many deteriorate due to a lack of adequate planning.
At the Law Offices of Kent W. Keating, we are committed to helping businesses thrive now and in the future. We work with California businessowners to ensure mechanisms are in place to ensure smooth transitions and facilitate the continued success of your company for generations to come. Our Thousand Oaks business succession planning lawyer has over 35 years of experience and has a complete understanding of how business law intersects with estate planning. We will walk you through all available legal options, leverage our extensive knowledge to give tailored recommendations, and help you build a customized plan that provides you, your family, and your fellow business leaders with peace of mind.
Estate Planning for Businessowners
Passing away without an estate plan as an individual is unfortunate. As a family businessowner, it has the potential to be catastrophic.
If you are a businessowner, imagine what would happen if you were to abruptly pass away without any enforceable planning tools in place. Who would immediately take over? Who would take possession of business assets? What legal safeguards would be in place to preserve the health and operations of your business?
Our Thousand Oaks business succession planning attorney can help you address tough questions, including:
- Who will serve as your direct successor?
- How will the transition be handled?
- How will your company's values and objectives be preserved after you are gone?
- How will business-related assets be passed to beneficiaries? How will these transfers affect the business's operations?
- Will your family be financially dependent on your business? If so, what mechanisms will work to support them? If not, what other planning resources can be used to provide for them?
In addition to developing a robust succession plan, you also need to consider how your family business will continue to support your surviving loved ones – especially if they have little to no direct involvement in the company. Alternatively, you can develop an estate plan that allows your relatives to live independently of your business, but both approaches require proactive action.
Avoiding the Federal Estate Tax as a California Businessowner
If you own a successful business, there is a good chance your estate is large enough to be subject to federal estate taxes. Without careful planning, your family could be forced to sell business interests to cover an exorbitant estate tax bill. Fortunately, several estate planning tools can help you minimize the impact of or completely avoid federal estate taxes.
Our team at the Law Offices of Kent W. Keating can help you explore these solutions. We can also closely monitor the political and legal climate and adjust your plan if tax rules change.
Aligning Your Succession and Estate Plans as a California Businessowner
It is not enough to simply create an estate plan and a succession plan: Your succession and estate plans must work together. If they are not in complete alignment, you run the risk of your estate planning mechanisms not having the financial resources needed to fund your objectives.
A robust life insurance policy can help fund estate planning solutions and cover other costs, such as estate taxes, that can come with a transition. We can thoroughly review your financial circumstances, identify potential issues, and help you take steps to coordinate and fund your plans.
Using a Business Buy-Sell Agreement (BSA)
A BSA is a contract that facilitates the transfer of business interests when a specified trigger event occurs. Common triggering events include the retirement, death, or incapacity of the company's founder.
BSAs are flexible documents that can be used in situations where the are multiple businessowners. They can work with corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), partnerships, and other popular business entity types.
Our Thousand Oaks business succession planning lawyer can help you prepare and fund these agreements. We are committed to setting your business up for success and will provide the knowledgeable guidance you need to achieve your planning objectives.