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Business trusts can save your business after death

When you're thinking about your business, trusts and estate, one thing you might want to consider is how your business may change after your death. Developing a trust to support your business isn't a bad idea, and planning this with your estate can help your business continue long after you pass.

Creating a succession plan can help you be sure that your business will survive. Who will take over? Who will have access to the business finances and plans?

If you don't have an estate plan, all related children, or potentially other family members you have, will get an interest in the business. If a trust is in place, only the children or family members who want to be involved in this business, or the person you choose to be involved, will be able to receive an interest in the business you leave behind. This reduces the risk of lags in takeovers and smooths the transfer of power following your death.

If there is no trust, your business could be sold if your family decides that they don't want to run it after your death. Even if someone does want to run it, going through probate court to determine the rights of those individuals can take years on end; those are years your business isn't running or is running without the people in charge who you would have chosen.

Your attorney can help you determine how to plan for your business's future while you work on your estate plan and trusts. Choosing the right administrator for your trust now can benefit your business in the long term and protect your interests in the future.

Source: North Bay Business Journal, "Trusts in estate, succession planning can help a business survive," James Dunn, July 18, 2016

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