Understanding Estate Planning for Ohio Small Business Owners
Suppose you own a small business in Ohio. In that case, it is critically important 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 the 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 is vital to develop your estate plan and think about what you would like to occur after you’re no longer around to run your business. If you have minor children, you may opt 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 would like to assume control of the business — or if you would like it to be sold, with the proceeds going to your family members.
Another critical decision is who you would like 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 impact the ability of creditors to claim your personal assets to pay off any debts you owe upon death. An Ohio limited liability company (LLC) or S corporation, for example, 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 death.
How Estate Planning Helps Minimize Ohio Business Taxes
Taxes can significantly impact 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 they are likely to come out of beneficiaries’ inheritance if you do not plan properly.
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 impact of creditors or a potential lawsuit. It’s a simple step that can pay off 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 on your behalf.
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 that 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 with Seif & McNamee, LLC.
Seif & McNamee, LLC is here to help you and your loved ones understand business law, personal injury, estate planning, elder law, probate, collections, and municipal law. Our experienced Ohio lawyers are here to 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.