Don’t Let Your Small Business Get Caught Up In Probate

  • Estate Planning
don't let your small business get caught up in probate | estate and probate legal group

An estate plan includes more than just a will. It is an entire plan of how to care for yourself into retirement age, into the age when you will need additional care, and how to distribute your assets when you’re gone. An estate plan is important for everyone… but it’s even more critical for small business owners. When you don’t plan ahead, your business suffers, including what happens after you pass away. Don’t let your small business get caught up in probate.

What Your Estate Includes

An estate includes all assets. This includes personal items such as your house, car, and stamp collection. But it also includes everything of worth. And this can be:

  • bank accounts
  • retirement accounts
  • investment
  • real estate here and other homes
  • Your Small Business

Having a small business means you have extra steps to take to prepare your estate plan. When you pass away, you want to be ready for your business to operate without you or to close its doors.

Estate Planning and Your Small Business

If you die without a will (dying intestate), the probate courts decide how to distribute your assets. And when a small business is involved, this process can take longer and cost more for your loved ones.

If your business goes through probate, it is subject to personal creditors and issues impacting your heirs and beneficiaries. As a result, the value of your business could decline. It could even have to close its doors or cease operations. You’ve worked too hard and put too much into your business to let this happen.

This is why you need an estate plan. Don’t let your small business get caught up in probate. Thankfully, there are ways to protect your business from going through probate court.

Some options are:

  • Living trust – your assets are transferred out of your name and into the name of the trust. When you pass away, the business can continue under the name of the trust or be easily turned over to your beneficiary.
  • Joint ownership – when you own a business with another person, your business plan must include what happens when one owner passes.
  • A succession plan – this is the process of identifying all critical positions within the company, and who takes over if one person leaves or passes away.

Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure your business does not fail when you pass away.

Additional reading:

Estate Planning for Small Business Owners 

Contact the experienced business estate planners at  Estate and Probate Legal Group. We will help you plan how to preserve your legacy for the next generation. Call us today at 630-864-5835. 

AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties