If you have a will and perhaps a trust to distribute your wealth after you pass away, you may believe you have done all you can to provide for your beneficiaries and heirs. But if you own a business, are a partner in one, or own stock in a close corporation or a member interest in a limited liability company, you should know about one more estate planning tool.

You need to plan for what happens to the business you own an interest in when you are no longer involved. A Staten Island business succession planning lawyer could help take your business into the future.

Buy-Sell Agreements

Partners, limited liability company members, and close corporation stockholders should discuss buy-sell agreements that put into writing what happens to their share of a business if they retire, become incapacitated, or die. Generally, these documents specify who is permitted to buy the prior owner’s interests. An experienced Staten Island business succession planning attorney understands the ins and outs of buy-sell agreements and could help draft a customized document. 

Having No Business Succession Plan Is Risky

It is not uncommon for business owners to get wrapped up in the present and forget to plan for the future. However, failing to take the proper steps to ensure the proper transfer of assets can be a costly mistake. 

Family business owners may just assume their children and grandchildren will continue to run the business. About 85 percent of these owners have not adopted a business succession plan, and about 30 percent of family businesses do not make it past the second generation, shuttered in the chaos of no plan or inheritance taxes.

Divorcing business owners with no buy-sell agreements often see contentious ex-spouses end up with the business. Unintended relatives sometimes inherit a relative’s business if there is no plan. 

How a Business Succession Planning Lawyer Could Help

Estate planning is essential for those who want to ensure their assets end up where they want them to go. Contracts like buy-sell agreements go a long way to chart a business’s future, too. Besides drafting appropriate documents, a Staten Island business succession planning attorney could also:

  • Help choose the best entity for a business to operate in when chartering the company or later, as growth and goals dictate, an alternate entity to shield personal assets from lawsuits or if raising capital through equity becomes preferable 
  • Ensure that all owners understand and accept employment and management terms, and pertinent agreements that speak to the business’s future are in writing 
  • Mediate when owner disputes arise 
  • Ensure that business succession plans are coordinated with other estate planning tools 
  • Discuss and create revocable and irrevocable trusts and drafts wills that sync with business succession planning matters 
  • Assist in business valuation
  • Discuss and recommend tax strategies that affect estate planning

A skilled attorney knows how to cater to a company’s needs and the owner’s goals, and could work with a business owner to revisit their plans and documents as needed.

A Staten Island Business Succession Planning Attorney Protects Interests

Your business represents a lifetime of work. If you have accepted the reality that you will leave your business at some point in the future, you will want to determine your planned exit strategy. 

A Staten Island business succession planning lawyer could offer the documents and advice you need. Call the Law Offices of Louis L. Lepore today to learn more about your options.