Estate Planning for Business Owners

April 15, 2021by Jonathan Elcombe0

Estate Planning is a lot more than just creating a legal Will
The majority of business owners have a substantial part of their family’s wealth tied up within a single business structure. This poses a significant risk to the business if serious illness or death of the business owner was to occur.

In many instances, this set of events triggers the process of business asset transfer to other family members to ensure business continuity. It’s vital that business assets are transferred in a tax effective manner with adequate asset protection in place for future beneficiaries to the family estate.

As a business owner, how do you prepare for the unexpected when circumstances are beyond your control? A prudent risk mitigation strategy is to have a comprehensive Estate Plan in place to ensure adequate protection for your business and beneficiaries.

Unfortunately many business owners consider a legal will as an appropriate way to ensure their business assets are transferred to their beneficiaries. A legal will does not address important considerations such as the appropriate asset protection strategy for your business. The right asset protection and business structure can ensure that the very asset you have built for the benefit of your family’s wealth and security, will be transferred according to your wishes.

Some important risk mitigation considerations for business owners can include the following:

If you or your spouse / partner both need to be directors, is there a business Power of Attorney in place?
If you have business partners, is your shareholder agreement in place?
Do you have a buy sell agreement, and is your business valuation current?
If you have business partners do they have a current comprehensive Estate Plan in place?
Does your current business structure have appropriate tax strategies and asset protection in place?
What is the ownership structure of any related commercial property the business owns?

These are just some of the many crucial considerations that business owners need to factor into the creation of a comprehensive risk mitigation strategy for their business continuity and family’s wealth.

A trusted advisor can ask the right questions to ensure your business and family’s wealth is protected for future generations. A comprehensive Estate Plan will ensure all any risks to your business and family wealth will be mitigated.

Most Australian business owners postpone future planning for their greatest asset until it’s too late or create an inadequate plan. Having the right business structure with a comprehensive Estate Plan in place is the only way to ensure your greatest asset is protected for future generations to come.

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