It might seem like an obvious first step for business succession planning, but failing to incorporate estate planning strategies is more common than you think. For many small business owners, navigating through the complex and ever-evolving tax policies and codes can make the task extremely daunting. Karen Stern, Partner in Charge of the Brown Smith Wallace Entrepreneurial Services Group, discusses the importance of securing the future with an estate plan, in this month’s “Financial Fitness,” as featured in Small Business Monthly.
Succession and estate planning are crucial for small-business owners to ensure that their businesses thrive after their ownership changes. Whether you leave your business to your family, keep the ownership within the company or sell, having a well-structured plan in place will help move the process along.
Here are some key estate planning strategies to consider:
Don’t assume you do not need an estate plan. Closely held businesses have complexities of their own that may arise, and individuals or married couples with less than $5 million in assets may have more challenges than larger estates.
Build flexibility into your estate plan. The Trump administration is working on major tax reform proposals, so flexibility in your plan provides you with important options for whatever the outcome.
Do not wait until the law is “settled.” Tax laws are ever-changing, so make sure your plan reflects your wants and needs and not the current economic situation.
If you are looking to secure the future for your business, your family or both, an estate plan may be right for you, no matter your assets. To discuss your current plan or for help developing one, reach out to your financial adviser or, for independent advice, David Heilich, CPA, partner and practice leader of the Brown Smith Wallace Family Wealth Planning Group, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-983-1273.