If you hold stock or you have your own business, you may decide that you want to keep the stock and/or business within your family or sell them, in the event of your death.
Either way, careful and thorough planning can ensure a successful transfer or transition. The following are some key points to consider when planning your estate:
Don’t just assume that your stocks and/or your business will automatically pass to your family without an issue. By creating a detailed estate plan for your stocks and business, the transition can go more smoothly, and you can potentially avoid some tax liability.
If you want to plan for your business succession, you should consider not only who will take ownership, but you will also want to help coordinate what will happen with the day-to-day operations and management of the company after your death.
As mentioned above, without an estate plan, after your death, the new owner of your business may be subject to an estate tax that can range from thirty-five to fifty percent of your company’s value. An estate plan can help business owners plan for the future and take advantage of applicable IRS tax breaks.
In addition to a will, you might want to consider drafting a living trust as well. A living trust effectively owns your interest in a business and allows you to continue to make decisions. A living trust is not subject to normal probate proceedings, can also assist businesses in transferring ownership, and can reduce estate taxes that might apply during the probate process.
Larger, multi-owner companies may want to consider drafting buy-sell agreements to protect their assets. These agreements protect business owners when a co-owner passes away. In addition, buy-sell agreements can be used to lower estate taxes in the event that a co-owner plans to leave their business interest to their heirs.
If you own stocks, in Indiana, you can designate a transfer-on-death beneficiary. What this means is that you should be sure to designate a beneficiary and make the stocks transfer upon your death to that beneficiary.
If you do not designate a T-O-D beneficiary, a will can also dictate how ownership will be transferred.
Valparaiso Estate Planning Lawyers
When you own stocks or a business, estate planning can protect your assets, and determine who will receive those assets in the event of your death. The experienced Indiana Estate Planning Lawyers at CCSK Law, LLC are here to learn about your particular situation and help you draft a set of legal documents that clearly reflect your needs and desires. If you would like to discuss your estate, one of our experienced and knowledgeable Indiana Estate Planning Lawyers at Carr, Chelovich, Skadberg, & Kazmierczak, LLC can help you. Call us today at (219) 230-3600 or fill out the form provided on our website and schedule your free consultation.