How can you probate-proof your business?

Proper estate planning can help you know that your assets will be handled according to your wishes after you die. It can help your heirs to avoid long and difficult legal challenges in the wake of your death. But, even when you have handled all of your personal estate matters are you sure how your business will be handled in the process? Business assets and interests may benefit from special handling in order to avoid probate or other issues.

Forbes explains that one very important thing you should do is to develop a business continuation plan. This can involve instructions for a buy-sell agreement, stock gifting or joint ownership. Details about who will manage the day-to-day operations of the business and what matters should be attended to first can also be included. Having a power of attorney in place can also give necessary control to parties that can help ensure the right things are done with your business. This can even be useful if you become incapacitated.

Like other assets, your business can be placed under the ownership of a trust, thereby completely protecting it from probate proceedings. An irrevocable trust also offers tax benefits but does force you to relinquish a great level of control. A revocable trust lets you control and change the trust but without the tax benefits of an irrevocable trust. The process for putting a business into a trust varies based upon the operating structure.

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about business estate planning in Florida.

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