For those who have dedicated their lives to building a successful family business, ensuring that business does not die with them is often a top priority. Therefore, it is an important topic to address during the business estate planning process in Florida. With the help of an experienced attorney, one can determine the best way to help his or her business live on.
Transferring Business Ownership in Probate
If a business owner wishes to transfer his or her ownership to a particular individual, that desire should be properly communicated in a last will and testament. Ideally, a living trust will also outline these wishes to best protect the assets attached to the business. If this matter is not addressed within a will, it will have to be taken to probate court. This action could not only result in an undesirable outcome, such as a beneficiary who has no interest in the business obtaining ownership, but could also cause the business to cease operations throughout the duration of the process. Therefore, outlining one’s instructions for distributing this key assets in a legally binding will is essential — as is appointing a power of attorney who can be entrusted to carry out those instructions.
Tips for a Successful Transfer
Before the owner can communicate how the business should be transferred upon his or her death, it must be understood how the decision will impact the surviving parties. There are some ways of transferring ownership that may be more beneficial than others.
The first step to deciding the ideal method is to review the business’s assets and debts. In some situations, if the business’s value opens it up to excessive estate taxes, it may be advisable to transfer the stock of said business to a child or children before death, so that they do not incur those taxes. From there, the current owner will need to take a look at how the business operates, and who is most qualified to oversee those operations in the future. For owners with multiple beneficiaries, it is important to clearly identify this person as the successor to make sure he or she is granted the sole power to oversee day-to-day operations.
If you have additional questions about the business estate planning process in Florida, our distinguished attorneys are always just a phone call away. Contact our office today to arrange for a free consultation with a member of our legal team.