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3 estate planning tips for business owners

The average California business owner has worked hard to create a successful company and wants to protect his or her interests now and in the future. It is also natural for business owners to think ahead to map out a plan for how their business assets should be distributed when they die. There are several estate planning tools that can help.  

Planning one’s estate is a highly customizable process. A business owner can incorporate or omit various documents from an estate plan to best fit his or her needs and goals. There are three specific planning tools that are beneficial for protecting business assets.  

Execute a living trust, last will and business succession plan 

Many California business owners create a living trust, which specifies how their business assets are to be distributed after they die. All property, funds or assets placed in a trust are managed by an appointed trustee. A living trust may also help minimize tax burdens on an estate.  

Two other documents that are beneficial for California business owners who are executing estate plans are a last will and testament and a business succession plan. The latter enables a business owner to appoint new ownership of a business upon his or her passing and can include other details, such as who will manage the business, especially if it is a different person from the one who will own it. It is helpful to ask an experienced estate law attorney to review one’s business plan because such an attorney can make recommendations as to which documents would be most beneficial in helping to achieve a particular business owner’s estate planning goals. 

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