Being a business owner comes with myriad responsibilities. One question we frequently encounter is, “Do I leave my small business to my family in my will?” As the leading Estate Planning and probate attorneys at Peach State Wills & Trusts in Lawrenceville, Georgia, we're here to guide you through the complexities of this critical decision.
Unraveling the Threads of Business Estate Planning
The answer isn't as straightforward as you might think. Yes, you can generally transfer your ownership interest of a corporation or an LLC via your will, assuming this is permitted in the company's governing documents. But remember, this is just the starting point. You should always review those documents, such as the operating agreement, the bylaws, and any type of members or shareholders agreement, including buy-sell agreements, to understand their stipulations. While you can do this, transferring ownership via a Will may not be the ideal step to take, depending on your wishes and situation.
A Closer Look at The Crossroads of Wills and Businesses
If you're a hundred percent owner of your business, or own a controlling stake, pushing the ownership through the probate process might not be the most beneficial route. Wise business owners take steps to ensure that if they are incapacitated or pass away suddenly, there are individuals with the legal authority to act for the business without waiting for the probate court to appoint someone. This enables the business to continue operations, serve customers, pay employees, and effectively manage the day-to-day responsibilities without being tied up in probate court proceedings after someone's passing. And, it helps preserve the value of the business as well.
Essential Tips for Crafting Your Business's Future
The best way to transfer your business is highly dependent on your individual circumstances, and may involve utilizing corporate or LLC governing documents, powers of attorney, trusts, or a combination of these and other tools. It requires you to consider various factors: the nature of the business, the number of employees, potential trustees within or outside the business, and your ultimate goals. Do you really want to transfer the business to your family, or would you rather have it sold with the proceeds supporting your family?
Your Business. Your Legacy. Let Peach State Wills & Trusts Help Protect it.
The decision on how to protect your business during your incapacity or after your death can shape the future of your business. If you haven't done any planning for your business, this might be your wake-up call. Don't let uncertainty cloud your business's future.
Let's safeguard your business legacy together. Contact Peach State Wills & Trusts at (678)-344-5342 to learn how to plan for the future of your business today.