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Estate planning to preserve Kent businesses

Kent business owners know that building a successful company typically requires a major personal investment. Because of this, many Washingtonians regard it as a top priority to pass on the fruits of their labors to heirs. According to a recent survey, most business owners recognize that estate planning is crucial to prevent family disputes and to make sure that plans for business succession avoid the complexities of probate court. Nonetheless, business owners too often put off their estate planning for business succession until later in life, and that can be a mistake.

When a business owner dies without an estate plan in place, business assets may be temporarily tied up in estate administration proceedings that can disrupt company operations. A simple will can be used to distribute business interests to heirs, but even a will may be subject to some amount of probate court administration.

Estate planning for business succession need not be overly stressful or expensive, and common estate planning tools, such as a living trust, can help keep business assets out of probate court and avoid interruptions in the functioning of the business.

Thoughtful estate planning can be especially important for businesses structured as partnerships, whereby the terms of the partnership agreement may affect the disposition of an owner's interest at death. Business owners should consider whether their interests are the type that can be readily passed on to heirs.

King County business owners with any concerns about the disposition of business assets or the possibility of hold-ups in probate court will want to be aware of all the estate planning tools for preserving assets. Knowing which tools are best for your particular estate can help ensure that your legacy remains intact for the benefit of heirs and their community.

Source: Fox Business, "Will your small business live if you die?" Donna Fuscaldo, May 4, 2012

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To speak with an attorney at Gellner Law Group about estate planning, probate, trusts, wills or tax controversy, contact our law office in Kent, Washington, today. You can call 425-336-2908 or send us an email. We provide representation across the entire Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area.

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