Estate and Succession Planning for Small Business Owners
Tauer, Loren W.; Grossman, Dale Arrison
Estate planning to many people consists of deciding how property should be distributed at death, but it also includes plans and techniques to build the estate during life. It involves decisions about the types of property to own, the form of ownership, and, for small business owners, the organization and operation of the business, including succession, or passing that business on to the next generation. This bulletin discusses the fundamentals of estate and succession planning to help families with small businesses assess their goals and consider the economic, legal, and tax implications of various plans. The bulletin is by no means an exhaustive source on estate or succession planning. Nor is it intended to substitute for legal or tax advice that should be obtained from your lawyer or accountant. More detailed publications are available elsewhere and trained professionals should be consulted as a plan is formulated. Estate and succession planning decisions involve complex questions of law, tax, and business planning. The only way to find the plan that is best for you is to work closely with your lawyer and other specialists who can advise you properly. Tax accountants, appraisers, life insurance agents, bank trust officers, and financial planners provide other important sources of information that you might consider in the planning process. Because you must make the final decision about the organization and disposition of your business, it is essential that you be well informed about the choices available so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.