An estate plan can help a person determine what happens to both personal and business assets when he or she passes away. Therefore, it is important for business owners in Colorado and throughout the country to have a will, trust or other document that can meet their needs now and in the future. If a person dies without a will or trust, state law may determine what happens to that individual’s assets.
If a person has a living trust, he or she can appoint a trustee to manage assets held inside of it. The trustee may take control of a trust in the event that its creator becomes incapacitated. In addition to an estate plan, it is a good idea for business owners to have a succession plan in place. The succession plan determines whether the company will be sold at some point in the future or transferred to a family member.
An ownership stake in a company may also be transferred to a partner or to key employees within the organization. A buy/sell agreement may specify who is able to purchase an interest in the company and how much an owner’s share of the company is worth. In some cases, an individual may decide that the business will cease to exist when he or she is no longer willing or able to run it.
Small business owners will likely want to include any assets that their companies own such as land or equipment in their estate plans. An estate planning attorney may be able to help a person learn more about wills, trusts and other planning tools available to them. A legal professional may also be able to represent a business owner in court in the event of a will challenge.