Small and family business owners have heard many nightmares about similar businesses that have had problems with probate. Many of the stories are true. However, with careful planning most of the problems associated with probate can be avoided.
Business owners normally fear probate because of the numerous nightmare stories they have heard about it. Many small businesses have had problems with probate. In the worst cases, the problems have led to the end of the business itself.
However, the truth is that most probate problems can be avoided with proper planning.
Recently, Forbes published an article titled "Five Ways Business Owners Can Avoid Probate Problems."
Their helpful list includes the following tips:
- Trusts - If the business is placed in a trust, then it can pass to the next generation without going through probate.
- Real Estate - Several methods exist to avoid probate with real estate including joint ownership and transfer on death deeds.
- Personal Property - Make sure that business-related personal property is properly disposed of in an estate plan.
- Wills - Even if you have a trust, you still need a will that works with that trust.
- Succession Plan - Make sure you have a succession plan in place for the business.
Questions about these tips and how they can be put to work for the benefit of your business should be directed to an experienced estate planning attorney.
Reference: Forbes (May 4, 2015) "Five Ways Business Owners Can Avoid Probate Problems."