Leaving your business to your family – What you need to do

Developing a succession plan for your family business can be a stressful and emotional time – but when the head of a family business passes away without a clear strategy and legal structures in place, your family as well as your business can be torn apart. Family businesses are your legacy as well as the careers of your children and – hopefully – your grandchildren, so it’s essential to include it in your estate planning, say New Jersey attorneys.

A solid succession plan can only be developed once employees, shareholders (if any) and family members have sat down together and discussed what a succession plan entails and what the company goals for the future should be. If you are unsure of the legal implications or impacts of these plans, have your estate planning attorney available for the meeting to provide essential insight and prevent and panic or worry by employees or family members.

Together with your attorney, you will be able to create a plan that is tailored to your particular business model and addresses issues that include:

  • Guidelines on hiring, supervising and compensating family members.
  • Keeping the business or shares within the family through a retention plan.
  • Splitting shares or stakes in the company with non-family employees. This will require that there use of an agreed-upon business valuation mechanism.
  • Minimizing potential estate taxes.
  • The establishment of measures that ensures the business has sufficient cash flow to pay estate taxes or buy out the deceased’s share.
  • Ensure that other family interests are provided for, for example, educational funds to train up family members to work in the business.

While this type of succession planning can be traumatic for you as well as your family members, it is a vital part of ensuring that your business legacy remains the way you have always envisioned it and continues to provide for your loved ones. It is also important to remember that this plan is not simply useful in the event of your passing – it is also vital in the event of your retirement.

Business estate planning in New Jersey for the future of your family 

At Sedita, Campisano and Campisano in New Jersey, estate planning attorney Frank Campisano is ready to assist you with all your estate planning needs – whether you need to make a business succession plan, Last Will and Testament, Power of Attorney, a Living trust or to update your current documents.

Contact us today and let us deliver expert estate planning advice to take care of all your wishes – whether your business is big or small.

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