Estate Planning for Business Owners: 4 Key Objectives

The Unique Needs of Business Owners and Professionals

The estate planning requirements for business owners and professionals serve as potent examples of the continuing necessity of meticulous estate planning. Regardless of whether the business or professional practice’s value falls within the federal estate tax threshold, there are four principal objectives that a business owner’s estate plan should consider.

  1. Control and Ownership Transitions: Business owners typically prefer not to co-own their enterprise with their partner’s family. Hence, a buy-sell agreement is crucial. This document lays out a structured plan for future management succession, helping ensure control and ownership remain appropriately managed.
  2. Balancing Family Interests: Conflicts may arise in families where certain members are involved in the business while others are not. It may be prudent to restrict management participation to active family members, despite their financial interest in the company. The estate plan could be structured to distribute inheritances equitably without disrupting the business’s value and operational efficiency.
  3. Avoiding Probate Complications: The probate process can stall business operations, preventing actions like cashing royalty checks or selling assets without a court order. The potential necessity of a professional business valuation, which can cost significantly, adds to the probate burden. Strategic tools like trusts, buy-sell agreements, or transfer-on-death shares can help bypass these costly and time-consuming probate processes.
  4. Navigating State Death Taxes: While many states have phased out their estate or inheritance taxes, those maintaining such taxes often separate from federal tax guidelines. These states typically impose taxes on estates worth approximately $1 million. As such, additional tax planning might be necessary if you live or own property in these states.

Enlisting Expert Help: Legacy’s Professional Services

Legacy, with its experienced professional team, is ready to assist you in creating a resilient estate plan tailored to your unique needs and objectives, securing your family’s financial future. For further details on our services, visit our Estate Planning page:

If you are a Legacy client and have questions, please do not hesitate to contact your Legacy advisor. If you are not a Legacy client and are interested in learning more about our approach to personalized wealth management, please contact us at 920.967.5020 or

This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only.
It is not intended as legal, accounting, or financial planning advice. 

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