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Family Businesses and Estate Planning

Giving your children and grandchildren the legacy and pride of a family business can keep your nose to the grindstone for decades. Financial security, family harmony, and growing wealth together are some of the benefits of a family business. Legacies are meant to outlive the legacy makers. If you’re a business owner in Utah and you haven’t yet done your estate planning, don’t hesitate to consult an estate and business lawyer to help you plan for the future.

Family Businesses and Estate Planning

No one would blame you for wanting to put off estate planning; after all, time is money, and you’d rather be building your business and enjoying the fruit of your labor. However, a smooth transition planned by a Salt Lake City estate lawyer saves time and money in the long run.

Keep it in the Family: Salt Lake City Estate Planning and Family Businesses

Passing your business on to your loved ones takes more than simply stating that you’d like your children to inherit your business. Essentially, bestowing a business to your children may make them subject to a hefty gift tax that may greatly diminish their gain. You can avoid this pitfall and protect your wealth by having a lawyer help you plan your estate so your heirs get as much of your estate as possible.

A Salt Lake City estate lawyer knows Utah business and estate law. He or she will remain objective and allow you to plan as you see fit. For example, your lawyer will help you create an equitable distribution among your children. However, if you don’t want to split your business evenly between all your children, or if you want to leave different assets to the children, an estate lawyer can help you with that, too.

Say you have two adult children who help you run the business, but one minor child still in junior high school. You want to make sure your children have what they need upon your passing. Your adult children will inherit and run the business, but there’s no expectation for your minor child to decide now if she wants to work in the family business. Your Salt Lake City estate lawyer can help you create a trust for your youngest child so she benefits from the business without working for it or having a controlling interest.

An estate lawyer can also discuss the possibility of restructuring your company to ensure that company assets go to your children. If you have a sole proprietorship, your lawyer may discuss forming a corporation so you can separate the business’s assets and liabilities from your personal assets and liabilities, and portion interest into shares to divide equally among your children.

Preliminary Do’s and Don’ts for Special Needs Planning in Salt Lake County

Special needs planning in Utah can be daunting if you’re just starting. However, a Salt Lake County special needs lawyer can save you the headache of planning and the worry over whether your plan will be executed properly. If you’re new to special needs planning and aren’t sure where to start, check out these do’s and don’ts for starting estate planning for your child with disabilities.

Salt Lake City Estate Planning and Family Businesses

DO consult an Salt Lake City special needs lawyer. Estate planning can be complex and downright overwhelming. What seems like a small error or omission can cause your plans to be executed in a different manner than you intended, or not at all. A special needs lawyer in Salt Lake County understands both estate planning and special needs. He or she can help you create the best plan for your child so that your plans are executed as you intend.

DO plan while you’re still healthy. Even if you’re relatively young, accidents may happen, and life has a way of diverting our attention from our plans. Planning when you have less stress, both mental and financial, is best for making sound decisions. In fact, it’s best to plan while your child with disabilities is still relatively young, too, so you have plenty of time to choose the best options as he or she approaches adulthood.

DO let other family members know about the plan. A will is a legal instrument and may be your final word, but to avoid confusion and conflict, let your family know your plans for your child with disabilities as soon as you formalize them. A dispute over an estate in Utah may require lengthy legal action that can stall or stop your will or plans.

DON’T assume siblings or other family members can simply take over for you. If your plans require the involvement of adult siblings or other family members, not only should you let them know, but you should make sure they’re honestly ready and able to become agents and fulfill your wishes. Well-meaning family members may agree without understanding what’s involved, or agree only to make you happy. Neither helps you or your special needs child in the end.

DON’T have someone unfamiliar with your adult child’s needs act as agent of his or her plan. Special needs plans are tailored to the individual child. For example, it may not be obvious to someone that your child needs to live somewhere where he or she can interact with peers on a daily basis, or somewhere that will buy them back and forth to their job or extra-curricular activities.

DON’T wait to have your plan go into effect when you or the other parent dies. Should you or the other parent become incapacitated or incompetent, the estate plan won’t be executed, even though your child will then need the plan to go into effect. A Utah estate lawyer can help you decide when to put your plan into effect to ensure that your child is properly cared for.

Free Consultation with Estate and Family Business Lawyer

When you are ready to plan your estate and make provisions for your family business, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506