Santa Clara County Estate Lawyer Advises to Keep it in the Family: Estate Planning and Family Businesses

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 California, don’t hesitate to consult an estate lawyer to help you plan for the future.

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 fruits of your labor. However, a smooth transition planned by a Santa Clara County estate lawyer saves time and money in the long run.

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 their inheritance 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 Santa Clara estate lawyer knows California 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 different 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 Sana Clara County estate lawyer can help you create a trust for your youngest child so she benefits from the business without having to work for the business 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 or LLC so you can separate the business’s assets and liabilities from your personal assets and liabilities, and portion interest into shares to divide among your children.

Consulting and hiring a Santa Clara County estate lawyer is not just good for your peace of mind, but for the ongoing health of your business by shielding it from loss when you pass on. If you have questions about how to get started, contact our Santa Clara law firm at (650) 422-3313 to schedule a consultation.

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