Clear And Caring Counsel
Brock Zettle Legal Team

What small business owners need to know about estate planning

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Texas is home to about 3.2 million small businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Estate planning is important for these small-business owners.

For example, proper planning ensures the smooth transition of assets and business ownership in the event of incapacitation or death.

Texas probate process

Small business owners need to be aware of the probate process in Texas. Probate is the legal process of validating a will and distributing assets. Understanding how probate works in Texas is important, as it may impact the time and cost of transferring ownership of the business and assets. By planning ahead, small-business owners can potentially minimize the challenges of probate.

The importance of a detailed will

A will serves as a roadmap for distributing assets and appointing guardians for minor children if applicable. Business owners should clearly outline how they want the management of their business to occur and who will take over its operations.

Without a proper will, the state’s intestacy laws may dictate asset distribution, potentially leading to unintended consequences for the business and family.

Consideration of business structure

The structure of the business plays a significant role in estate planning. Sole proprietors, partnerships and corporations have different implications when it comes to transferring ownership. Small business owners should consider the tax implications and legal requirements of their specific business structure. This includes addressing how the business will continue to operate or how a sale would occur in the absence of the owner.

Tax planning and minimization

Estate taxes can have a substantial impact on the value of the estate. Small-business owners should explore strategies for minimizing estate taxes, such as using exemptions and deductions. Proper tax planning can help preserve the value of the business for the next generation and ensure a smoother transition without undue financial burdens.

Regular updates

An estate plan is not a one-time task but rather a dynamic document. Business owners should regularly review and update their plans. Changes in personal circumstances, tax laws or business structure may necessitate modifications.

Small-business owners in Texas must prioritize estate planning to safeguard their businesses and assets for the future. Understanding what to do can ensure a seamless transition for the business and its stakeholders.