If you are a business owner, or have a substantial interest in a business, take note. Amazingly, the majorities of business owners apparently continue to underestimate the importance of creating a comprehensive succession plan for the business and/or include their business interests in their personal estate plan.
Business Owners Fail to Create Estate Plans If you are a business owner, or have a substantial interest in a business, take note. Amazingly, the majorities of business owners apparently continue to underestimate the importance of creating a comprehensive succession plan for the business and/or include their business interests in their personal estate plan. Business interests require special consideration when developing an estate plan, meaning that a business owner should not count on a simple Last Will and Testament to handle the transfer of a business, yet a surprising number do rely on a simple Will according to a recent study. U.S Trust conducted a study entitled “2012 Insights on Wealth and Worth” which surveyed U.S. business owners with at least $3 million in investable assets with nearly two-thirds of them having assets greater than $5 million. U.S. Trust’s research found evidence that many business owners do not have wealth and estate plans that reflect their position and personal wealth. Among the findings, the study concluded that: 1. More than half (55%) of all business owners surveyed have not established a formal succession plan for their business, including 43% of those over the age of 67. 2. Six in 10 business owners surveyed do not have a comprehensive estate plan. In fact, they are slightly less likely than non-business owners to have the basics such as a will, healthcare proxy or a named durable power of attorney. 3. Additionally, one in three business owners has established a life insurance trust. Three-quarters (77%) of business owners say it is important that they leave a financial inheritance to their children or grandchildren. 4. Forty-six percent already have transferred assets to a trust set up for future generations. One- third of business owners who haven’t established a trust say they don’t see the need for one because they are under the impression that a will is sufficient to carry out their wishes. 5. Fifty-four percent of business owners say they consider the most important goal of an estate plan is to minimize estate taxes. Yet fewer than half have taken, or plan to take, steps to reduce the size of their taxable estate in advance of potential tax law changes that could raise estate taxes. If you are one of the 55 percent of business owners who have not created a formal business succession plan, now is the time to do so. Talk to you estate planning attorney about why this is important and how to get started. Experienced estate planning attorneys St. Louis MO of the Purcell and Amen, Attorneys at Law – Your Estate Matters, LLC offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of St. Louis MO. To learn more about these free resources, please visit http://www.yourestatematters.com today.
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