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Understanding Estate Planning for Ohio Small Business Owners

If you own a small business in Ohio, it’s critical to have an Ohio estate plan established to ensure your family members, friends, and other beneficiaries uphold your wishes after you pass away. This step can provide you with greater assurance that your company will continue to operate successfully while also helping your beneficiaries make important decisions well into the future.

The Ohio estate planning attorneys at Seif & McNamee, LLC have years of experience assisting business owners with their diverse needs, allowing them to create sound wills, trusts, and other vital documents. We are dedicated to formulating an estate plan that meets all your goals while preserving the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

The Importance of Estate Planning for Your Ohio Business

It’s vital to develop your estate plan and think about what you’d like to occur after you’re no longer around to run your business. If you have minor children, you may decide to give them their shares of the Ohio company right away or place those shares in a trust until they reach a certain age. You should also know who you’d like to assume control of the business — or if you’d like it to be sold, with the proceeds going to your family members.

Another critical decision is who you want to serve as your general or durable power of attorney agent. This person will need to make essential decisions on various financial issues related to your business. You should consider what types of medical care and treatment you’d like to receive (or not receive) if you become incapacitated due to a severe illness or injury.

Understanding Business Succession Planning in Ohio

The structure you use for your Ohio business can affect the ability of creditors to claim your personal assets to pay off any debts you owe upon death. For example, an Ohio limited liability company (LLC) or S corporation allows you to avoid personal liability in most instances. However, you will still need to consult an estate planning attorney to ensure your company remains protected and that you are accounting for all possibilities.

You should have a succession plan that provides clear direction for your family members, business partners, and employees after you pass away. This plan should cover who will run the company and the distribution of your shares. Many owners opt to have their businesses sold after their deaths.

How Estate Planning Helps Minimize Ohio Business Taxes

Taxes can significantly affect a small business owner’s estate upon death, often ranging from 35 to 50 percent under current tax law. These taxes are due within nine months of the deceased’s passing and will likely come out of the beneficiaries’ inheritance without a proper plan.

You can minimize these tax burdens through a sound estate plan while still maintaining your company for the foreseeable future. A knowledgeable Ohio estate planning lawyer can provide further guidance on the mechanisms available.

Understanding Ohio Asset Protection Planning for Business

It’s common for small business owners to personally guarantee loans or lines of credit to help fund their companies. Through an asset protection plan, you can protect both your interests and those of your beneficiaries, preventing the negative effects of creditors or a potential lawsuit. It’s a simple step that can pay dividends in the long run.

An Ohio asset protection plan creates the proper strategies to protect your assets and business from probate or creditors. It also clearly defines the distribution of assets as to how, when, and to whom they’ll go.

Understanding Buy-Sell Agreements in Ohio

An Ohio buy-sell agreement allows you to transfer ownership to one of your business partners in the event of your death. It establishes a price for your partner to buy out your business shares, possibly using funds from a life insurance policy you set up in conjunction with the buy-sell agreement. The sale proceeds would then go to your spouse or other beneficiaries.

Work with an Experienced Ohio Business Planning Attorney

For the reliable guidance and advice you need when preparing for the future of your Ohio business, consult a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer at Seif & McNamee, LLC.

Seif & McNamee, LLC is here to help you and your loved ones understand business lawpersonal injuryestate planningelder lawprobatecollections, and municipal law. Our experienced Ohio lawyers help you accomplish more. We welcome you to contact our Chillicothe or Waverly law firm to learn more about how we can help you achieve favorable results in business and personal legal matters in Southern Ohio, statewide, and across the Midwest.

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