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What will your business look like when you're gone?

Okay, there's really no way to tell exactly what will be happening with your New York business in the months and years to come after you die. However, there's no reason you can't have some say, in fact, a lot of say, as to your general business succession plan as you pass down the torch to future generations. After all, you worked long and hard to make your business the successful enterprise it is today. Why not do all you can to protect its interests and preserve it for your heirs?

Many people choose thorough estate planning as a valuable tool to help set the stage for continued business success once they have passed on. Of course, it helps to discuss such matters with loved ones, especially those who will play key roles in carrying on what you began. Thinking things through and designating certain people for certain tasks ahead of time can prevent many problems from arising down the line.

The ins and outs of successful business succession

Perhaps you've already taken a son, daughter or grandchild under your wing through the years, teaching him or her all you know and doing your best to inculcate good business ideologies in the hope that he or she would one day be able to fill your shoes. It doesn't always happen that the person you want to run your business is the same one you want to own it. Keeping the following things in mind may help you make informed decisions:

  • Management: The person who manages employees and oversees business-related affairs may or may not be the owner of the company. Perhaps, one of your children is more apt toward the skills involved in management.
  • Ownership: Shares of your business can be distributed to various family members, or one person can be granted the whole kit and caboodle. It's entirely up to you. Some mistakenly believe that distribution of business shares must be equal, but this is not true.
  • Taxes: Most business owners want to keep taxes a low as possible for their successors. Various estate planning strategies exist to help keep tax burdens to a minimum.
  • Training: Whatever position or job you designate to a particular person, it helps to make sure he or she receives proper training before the time comes to carry out those duties.
  • Discussions: Successful business transfers don't happen overnight. Gathering family members together and talking things through helps fine tune the planning process and sets the tone for a successful, happy future. Problematic issues can be addressed during these discussions as well.

As you develop your plan to hand over the reins of your business to others, you may face certain challenges that prompt a need for outside guidance. In such circumstances, a business and estate planning attorney can be a great ally.

An experienced New York attorney can steer you through the entire process, step-by-step, until you are satisfied that the future of your business is secure and ready to be carried on in generations to come. If you run into trouble regarding a particular tax law or other important issue, your attorney can clarify current regulations and simplify legal jargon so it's easier to understand.

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