Neel Shah is a practicing estate planning attorney as well as a certified financial planner(r). He has conducted over 3000 corporate business and real estate transactions throughout his career and is the author planning for business owners (available on Amazon).
Estate planning for business owners is especially important, but also a delicate endeavor. Business owners are often what is labeled as “asset rich, but cash poor.”
This is because of the illiquid nature of a small business, which can create problems when a business owner has passed away or become incapacitated there’s a need for liquidity.
Further, how are shares to be transferred of a business when the business owner passes away? Should they go to a spouse in which case the widow with a widower- may become partners with the small business owner’s business partner? Or should they go to the adult children? What if one adult child is involved in the business and others are not? Or what if there are no adult children and they are all minors? Business succession planning is paramount for these scenarios.
There are unique opportunities for business owners to take advantage of tax saving strategies beyond traditional IRAs. Business owners may decide to incorporate some combination of 401(k)s, solo 401(k)s, defined benefit plans, cash balance plans, and/or other retirement planning which can greatly reduce income tax liability.
One way to create liquidity is to use life insurance. In fact, business owners can and should evaluate life insurance needs on a regular basis-both for liquidity needs for the family, as well as in a succession planning/buy sell agreement type scenario.
If you’d like to discuss your estate planning needs further use the link below to schedule a call!