If you are a Florida business owner, then congratulations! You no doubt worked long and hard to develop your idea into a dream and then make that dream a reality. Whether you’re in your 30s, 50s, 60s or older, you have probably given thought to what you want to become of your company after you die.
Perhaps you’d like your business to stay with the family. On the other hand, maybe you think it’s best to sell your business when you are no longer here to run it. Whatever you want, you can do it if you have created a business success plan. In fact, you can incorporate that document into your estate plan.
Issues you can address in a business succession plan
If you have executed a solid succession plan, your business should be able to keep functioning with little to no delay after you die. The following list shows common issues that you may want to address if you incorporate a succession plan into your estate plan:
- Will you sell your business?
- If not, who will assume ownership?
- Will the person who owns it be different from the person who manages it?
- If you have co-owners, you might want to have a buy/sell agreement.
There are also tax implications to consider regarding the value of your business as an asset. There are often ways to minimize the tax burdens associated with business assets and estate planning.
Speak to all relevant parties ahead of time
If you have family members, friends or business associates in mind for your business succession plan, it’s best to discuss such issues ahead of time. Remember, just because you have someone in mind to fulfill a particular role in your business after you die, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she will be up to the task.
It’s also helpful to have more than one person in mind. This way, if your initial designee declines, you can pursue your second choices. It also means that if your primary designeebecomes incapacitated or dies, the person listed in your estate plan as an alternate can step in to serve.
What other documents should you add to your estate plan?
In addition to a Florida business succession plan, there are numerous other documents that you can sign as part of your estate plan. If you have children, for instance, you may designate someone as guardian. You might also want to sign a power of attorney, granting someone of your choosing the authority to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf.