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Plan for Business Succession Before ‘Stuff Happens’

GRATsCo-owners, family members, and ex-spouses can suddenly come out of nowhere to claim some of your successful business if you were to die without a succession plan.

Your company worth could be reduced to nothing in less than a year with all the of the infighting that likely would ensue. However, proper estate planning protects the business in case of your unexpected demise.  Estate planning can be used by business owners to avoid unfortunate events and to prevent seizure and depreciation of the business assets. This can decrease the stress and hassles that occur immediately after you die. Here are some good estate planning ideas to help your business.

  • More options for your business. Solid estate planning gives you the option of buy-sell agreement. If your business has one or more co-owners, this agreement ensures that upon the death of any owner, the interest of the deceased is automatically purchased by the other owner(s). The beneficiaries of the deceased owner, such as the spouse, children, or other family member won't unintentionally become owners. This strategy can alleviate some stress in an already stressful situation, immediately after the death of an owner or part owner of a business.
  • Guarantee the longevity of your business. Sole proprietors, small businesses, and big companies all want to pass their enterprises to future generations to keep their legacies alive. Estate planning can ensure the longevity of your business with a business transition plan.
  • Minimize taxes. A business owner can transfer business assets to his or her children and retain a source of income by establishing a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT). This will help make sure that when business assets grow over time, the appreciation in equity and value of your business will not be hit with huge tax bills.
  • Succession planning for your business. Good estate planning will ensure that your business is preserved and operating the way you'd want it to run. Any issues in the transfer of management and ownership when you're gone are conducted effectively with wise estate planning.
  • Plan for the future. A good succession plan for your business could take several years to create, so start early. This can help you see the bigger picture for your business and present new ideas.

Reference: Huffington Post (March 31, 2016) "5 Things Estate Planning Can Do for You and Your Business"

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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.