Increasing the Value of Your Business Before You Sell

Once you have made the emotional decision to sell your company, there are many different questions that must be answered shortly after. Some of these have to do with how you will prepare to sell the business. You may not have intended to always sell your company, making it even more difficult to transition into this phase. There was no business succession strategy in place. But sometimes you get a great offer or it’s an excellent opportunity or you find just the right buyer. Research from BizBuySell shows that the number of businesses bought and sold experienced record numbers in some recent years.

This means that this is an important opportunity to think about potential future ships in the economy and how you can protect your own company. There are several steps that you can take to make your business more valuable before listing it for sale. First, start by lowering the risk profile of your business.

Then consider diversifying your revenue, which might relate to vendors, products, or customers. If a significant portion of your business’s profits rely on the work from one vendor or one client, this may be viewed as an issue that makes your company difficult to sell. Recurring revenue streams are extremely popular with business buyers, so consider how you can use these to make your business more appealing to people in the market.

Cultivating high-quality talent and determining the people, processes, and systems that will be established before you leave makes it easier for a potential new owner to see how they can step in with minimal challenges. Increased profitability and improve your business’s cash flow position, as these can both represent optimal goals for establishing your business as a great one to buy.

Preparing for the Transition of Inheriting Wealth

Inheriting wealth is an exciting opportunity but it also presents just as many questions that can be difficult for the beneficiary to work through. Whether you’ve known about the inheritance for a long time or experienced something unexpected, this can be life-changing.

And you might experience some high anxiety as you think about how best to protect this money. You might be asking questions such as does this change my life? How does it change my life? What are the first things I should do to protect this wealth and my own interests? These existential questions can also be worked through with the support of an experienced financial professional.

Research from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that inherited wealth has accounted for up to 20 to 50% of overall household wealth accumulation in the United States. The highest wealth transfer years are currently happening and ahead of us as baby boomers get older.

However, a U.S. Trust survey also found that 78% of respondents who were high net worth individuals felt that the next generation was not financially savvy or responsible enough to be prepared to receive an inheritance. This makes it even more important to think about the goals that you intend to achieve with your estate planning and financial strategies and how you can accomplish these by working with the right financial planner and strategist.

Contact our offices today to learn more about how we can help you with these challenges and more. We’re here to support you if you’re readying to transfer wealth or receive it.

What’s Next After Selling your Business?

It can be a significant shift in your personal and professional life when you sell your company and move onto a new phase.

You might be exhausted or simply leaving room to decide what happens next. Meaning that it can be hard to figure out exactly how to structure your days after you’ve sold your business. You probably spent years building your company, and then even more time finding the right buyer to take over your company. Research published by Coutts Bank found that about one-quarter of owners who sell their company have no idea what they plan to do after the sale.

And 40% of those same people regret that they did not have a more robust plan in place. A couple of key tips can help you to get the most out of putting your business up for sale and understanding how this transition period presents new opportunities and challenges in your life. You’ll need to start by protecting the profits from your transaction, from tax consequences as well as market risks.

This is a leading reason to warp directly with a financial professional who is familiar with some of these challenges. At this point, it is often also recommended that you build a diverse portfolio that combines multiple vehicles such as bonds, stocks, real estate, money market accounts, and mutual funds. Your tax obligations should also be revisited during this phase in your life. This is a great opportunity to work directly with a tax professional to understand any tax implications before the business is formally sold.

Typically, the IRS will consider the sale of every individual asset associated with the company rather than the sale of the company as a whole. Having good financial guidance prior to and during the sale can help you minimize potential tax consequences.

One other major aspect associated with adjusting your life is preparing for emotional transition. It is very common, even for those company owners who are sure it is the right time to sell, to experience a sense of emotional loss after selling their company that they operated and owned for years.

Understanding these psychological impacts can help you prepare for the significant change as well as cope with these feelings in a productive and healthy way as you take up new interests and spend time with friends and adjust to your new life. Focusing on personal fulfillment can help dramatically in this process. Schedule a time to meet with a dedicated financial professional to learn more about these strategies and how best to accomplish your goals.

Contact us today for help!

What Are the Five Financial Stages of Life?

Many people go through a series of similar financial stages in their life, but unfortunately many of them end up older without having incorporated some of the learning lessons and benefits of previous stages.

Stage 1

Stage one is entering the workforce in early career years. These are the years in which it is hardest for people to save because they may have a lower income amount and may be working towards big goals such as owning a home. However, this is the perfect opportunity to start planning retirement and take advantage of Roth IRA, 403(b), 401(k), and other strategies.

Build your savings and establish a good credit history, obtain disability insurance, and live within your means. And these are the best tips for staying afloat in stage one.

Stage 2

Stage two is your family and career-building years. In this phase, you should focus on purchasing health insurance, buying life insurance, updating your disability insurance as needed, reviewing your estate plan, saving for your child college education, and start growing your career or business further.

Stage 3 

Stage three are the pre-retirement years, which ideally should put you in a position to be soon done with paying off your mortgage and other debts. You also want to approach this phase of your life, hopefully able to help support children’s college expenses without taking out additional loans.

If you haven’t done so to this point, this is a good time for you to start a business, and the phase in which retirement planning becomes much more serious.

Stage 4 

Stage four is in your early retirement years, which is when you should pin down your actual potential expenses during retirement. Look carefully at what you’ll actually be able to spend monthly at a whole different point in your life. You may also consider how you’ll leave other assets behind for your loved ones during this time as well. This is for your later retirement years, which is your opportunity to continue optimizing taxes. You might even be thinking about changes you can make with ownership of your assets, such as selling them to make way for other goals.

Stage 5 

Limiting your overall tax liability in later retirement years is an important strategy to discuss with a financial professional. During this last phase, you should also continue to update your estate plan on a regular basis, and any time that you acquire or get rid of new assets. Following all of these tips can help you to accomplish your top goals as it relates to planning ahead for your own financial future. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney to discuss your next steps.

Is Your Retirement Aligned with a New Lifestyle?

Your lifestyle might have changed when you graduated with student loans, bought a house, or had children. Other issues like disability or caring for elderly loved ones can prompt a change here, too. But retirement is a big transition and it’s one well worth planning for in advance.

Entering retirement provides many different potential benefits for you, especially, if you have done the right amount of planning. However, a broad range of problems could potentially impact your life and make it difficult or impossible for you to achieve these goals.

Unfortunately, far too many people find this out too late, and it is crucial to think more about lessons you can learn from previous generations who have retired. Your lifestyle likely needs to change after retirement and your financial projections helping you save enough money were likely considered many years ago.

Some of the biggest mistakes that today’s retirees make is in failing to adjust their expenses to the new budget they have in retirement. Those who have worked over the course of many years might need to adjust their expenses in a dramatic way, especially, as it relates to clothing, entertainment, and dining out.

Relying on the amount of money you had while income was regular can be a drastic adjustment, especially, if your financial projections and what you actually have set aside in retirement don’t match well.

Furthermore, another big mistake that retirees make in this way is to forget that long-term care costs and healthcare expenses can come into play as a person gets older. If you did not plan properly or have enough set aside in your budget, these can represent even more dramatic cuts to your lifestyle expenses.

Make sure that you consult with a professional who has a dedicated support system in place to guide you through this process. Our NJ retirement and transition support services can assist you.

Delaying Social Security: Impact on Retirement

There are many different decisions that need to be made in the wake of an upcoming retirement. There are also so many different questions that are presented to people who are on the cusp of this retirement decision.

It can be overwhelming to think through all of these different aspects but having the right financial professionals to guide you through this process can help you feel more confident about your overall decision, and the next steps that you will take. Consider, for example, how delaying the step of Social Security can add significant dollars to your bottom line.

You can use various planners and calculators to think about your out of money age, your net worth and what you’ll draw from Social Security. This can help you make a firm decision about just how far on the horizon retirement is for you. Working a little bit longer may be to your benefit if it is still of interest, because it offers a variety of different advantages, especially as you delay those first social security payments. This will help you figure out the right decision for you and when to start bringing in the most money over your lifetime.

When you work a little longer, you can save more, delay tapping into your existing savings and earn more income for a longer period of time. You can also think carefully about what assets you already own and whether or not any transitions or additional savings need to be added to that bottom line. The right financial professionals are here to guide you through every transition and next step in your retirement life.

Is Now the Right Time for Investment Management?

There are many reasons that you might want to hire a professional investment manager. Perhaps you’ve handled things on your own up until now or you’re working with another company but are looking for a transition. Knowing when is the right time to partner with someone else can help you make this decision more confidently.

Most people end up with a collection of investment accounts over their working years, and the next challenge then becomes figuring out what you do with all those accounts and how to best align each one for future benefits. Investment management is crucial for streamlining your financial life by bringing together all of your different accounts into one place so that you can see how they impact one another.

Moving all those accounts into one place, however, is only the first step. If you’re not feeling confident about making your own investment decisions, if you want someone else to have tabs on your portfolio and step in to rebalance things where necessary, or if you’re dealing with complex issues like retirement planning for your income, tax concerns, or an inheritance, it’s beneficial to have that outside influence of an investment manager.

But one of the biggest reasons that people finally reach out for investment management help is because there’s been a big event in their life that has caused them to step back and reevaluate their plans. A major change in income or having a child are big reasons, because these often prompt you to consider new goals or, with a higher income, potential risks or tax issues.

Having someone else with a fresh perspective to assist you during these change periods in your life affords you peace of mind that no matter what you’re facing, you have the right strategy to pivot and adapt.

Contact our office today for more help in understanding how these assets under management influence your financial future.

When To Know It’s Time to Sell Your Business

Putting all of your effort into your business for many years is a common problem for entrepreneurs. They have a great deal of passion and excitement about growing their business, but there may be times when you need to think about selling. In today’s current economic climate, this could be a very important opportunity for you to evaluate your options to sell your business.

It may be in your best interests to sell your company if you are facing significant issues with current management or feel as though your business has outgrown you. It is the goal for many entrepreneurs to replace themselves in their business by building teams, systems and processes that can help to carry on the business without them.

During your working years, this might have been used to allow you to go on vacation, but as you get closer to retirement, you must think about the benefit of business succession planning. Business succession planning can help you see the talent bench you have that will progress your business in ways that you might not have imagined. This can factor into your decision about when to retire because based on your current financial goals and what you might take away from an exit of the business, you may have more assets than expected or need to stay a few longer years than you expected.

Consulting with the right team of financial professionals is instrumental in outlining your success when selling your company or making any other big transition in your life. Contact our team of dedicated professionals to help answer your questions today. We’re here to help you decide what this transition looks like and how to make the best of it.

Do Downturns Lead to Down Years?

Stock market declines over a few days or months may
lead investors to anticipate a down year. But the US stock
market had positive returns in 17 of the past 20 calendar
years, despite some notable dips in many of those years.

• Intra-year declines for the index ranged from 3% to 49%.
• Many years with large intra-year declines saw positive
annual returns. In 17 of the last 20 years, US stocks
ended up with gains for the year.
• Even in 2020, when there were sharp market declines
associated with the coronavirus pandemic, US stocks
ended the year with gains of 21%.

Volatility is a normal part of investing. Tumbles may be
scary, but they shouldn’t be surprising. A long-term focus
can help investors keep perspective.

Sources: Dimensional Fund Advisors LP is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

What Is the Difference Between A Power Of Attorney And A Living Trust?

A power of attorney document enables what is known as an attorney in fact to do very specific things on behalf of the principal while the principal is alive. A living trust also enables the person appointed to do certain things for the maker of the trust during that person’s lifetime. This appointed party is known as a trustee. However, these powers also extend beyond death.

A power of attorney is like a living trust, in that both allow another person to manage someone else’s assets. A trustee, much like an attorney in fact agent, can manage another person’s assets like doing investments, banking transactions, and many other actions. However, the trustee only has control over those assets that are titled in the name of the living trust. There could be a potential conflict between someone’s actions as an attorney in fact and a trustee’s actions.

This typically comes up if the principle of your power of attorney also has a trust and the powers for both of you overlap. Your attorney may have to prepare a document notifying the trustee about the power of attorney. For example, maybe the home of the principal is owned by a trust, but you have been empowered by a power of attorney to sell that home.

This can create a conflict and potential problems which can be easily avoided. If you would like to learn more about establishing a living trust or a power of attorney document, set aside time to meet with an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning lawyer.

Should You Rewrite Your Will After Your Divorce?

Divorce represents plenty of changes in your life and it can be hard to keep track of all those details.

Any major change in your life should prompt you to reconsider your current will and other estate planning documents. It is vital to update your will at these points in time because you need to verify that your estate plan is up to date overall. If you fail to update your will or other estate planning documents after a divorce, your ex-spouse may legally be entitled to certain assets inside your estate.

One of the first steps you should take after getting a divorce is to meet with your estate planning lawyer. Many people are relieved to receive their final divorce decree and want to move on with their life but meeting with an estate planning lawyer is critical for protecting your interests and ensuring that you have updated all of your beneficiary designation forms as well. For example, do not forget about retirement accounts or life insurance policies where that same spouse may also be listed as a beneficiary.

If you have other questions about what’s involved in the estate planning process and how you can approach it most effectively following any major change in your life, now is the perfect opportunity to consult with an experienced and dedicated estate planning lawyer. Bring copies of your current documents to your meeting with your estate planning attorney to discuss the next steps you need to take and any other updates that you might need to make.

Is There a Relationship Between A Power Of Attorney and a Living Will?

A living will reflects your individual wishes as to whether or not you want certain medical procedures to terminate when you are diagnosed as in an irreversible coma or terminally ill.

A health care power of attorney and a living will are both termed advanced health care directives because you create them in advance of an incapacitating event. In the event that you are unable to communicate with your own doctors or are unable to understand the information they are sharing with you, your living will is a legally enforceable method of ensuring that your wishes are still honored.

Whether or not a person has a living will that is in effect, an attorney in fact agent on a power of attorney can make health care decisions if that power of attorney gives the exact requirements relating to the manner of execution and the agent follows them.

For this reason, you may want to create a separate advanced directive known as a durable power of attorney for health care. In all of these situations, it is very beneficial to work directly with an experienced and knowledgeable estate planning attorney.

Only an estate planning attorney can tell you more about what to expect in the planning process and can make it that much easier for you to approach your next steps. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming to move forward with an estate plan, but working directly with a dedicated estate planning attorney can increase your level of comfort overall.

A NJ estate planning lawyer can help you with this process.

What’s The Difference Between Supervised and Unsupervised Probate?

Depending on which states you own assets in and how much estate planning you have done, there may be a need for supervised or unsupervised probate after you pass away.

Probate is the formal legal process for transferring your assets after you pass away, and it is important to remember that not every asset you own is part of your probate estate. However, there are sometimes situations in which non probate assets are brought into a probate estate.

Both kinds of probate administrations do require some level of court involvement, but a supervised probate situation requires much more court involvement, because nearly every action taken by the executor or personal representative must be formally approved by the court. There is much less court involvement, however, in an unsupervised probate administration, because the court will appoint a personal representative and then tell him or her to manage all of the assets by filing an inventory with the court.

At that point, the personal representative has a lot of discretion regarding following either intestate succession rules or the terms of the person’s will, and at the conclusion of this a report is submitted to the court.

The more estate planning you do, the easier it will be for your loved ones to receive the assets that you have set aside for them. contact an experienced estate planning lawyer to learn more about which assets are part of your probate estate, and how advanced planning can help your loved ones in the future.

If you need help understanding an upcoming New Jersey probate, set aside a time to meet with an estate planning lawyer to discuss your options.

Do You Have Enough Assets To Leave Behind?

A recent Caring.com study reveals that 33% of Americans don’t have a basic will because they assume they don’t have enough assets to leave behind for other people. The study included the responses of over 2,600 American adults, looking at the attitudes and behavior of people from various backgrounds.

Only 33% of the respondents had a living trust or a will. 40% of respondents indicated they haven’t gotten around to it and the most common reason for failing to complete an estate plan was indeed, procrastinating, followed by those who think they don’t have enough assets to pass on to loved ones.

Highly educated Americans and high earners are most likely to say procrastination is their reason for not creating a will. A total of two out of three Americans who have advanced degrees have not gotten around to this either, but respondents with the lowest amount of income and those who don’t have any college education are using perceived lack of assets as a reason to procrastinate on their estate plan.

The truth is that many people do have assets and may need to cover other bases in their estate plan, such as naming a guardian for a minor child, or creating a power of attorney to allow someone else to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. Speaking with an estate planning attorney can help you clear up how simple or complex your estate plan should be and can give you a great deal of peace of mind about your future.

New Study Shows All Americans Are Thinking About Retirement Differently

Retirement is on plenty of people’s minds whether they are approaching it in the next decade or looking at it early on in their career. The recent pandemic has prompted plenty of people to rethink their career and retirement plans.

Many people are nervous in thinking about the prospect of retirement, but it is extremely important to follow through on a retirement planning strategy that helps to protect you and your loved ones. A recent Investopedia study of over 4000 people sought to explore Americans’ perception of financial literacy. The study found that two thirds of Gen X and Millennial adults are already planning for retirement, with 42% of Gen Z members doing the same.

Across generations, however, many Americans felt uncertain about their strategy of retirement planning, and many also believe that cryptocurrencies will feature prominently in their retirement planning future.

While many older adults don’t expect to retire early, those polled between the ages of 18 and 25 answered to the tune of nearly 60% that they intend to retire early. Those younger adults hope to stop working at age 57 for Gen Z and age 61 for millennials.

It’s important to think about how you can create and adapt your retirement planning strategy based on your individual goals. You should also align your retirement strategy with your estate plan. So set aside a time to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss your next steps.

Retirement and estate strategies should work together to help you accomplish your goals. Since you’ll want to support yourself and potentially help loved ones through retirement planning, contact a dedicated lawyer who can help you align your estate plan.

Missing the Market’s Best Days

In case you are tempted to jump out of your investments and jump back in when the time is ‘right’, just make sure you know exactly when that time is going to be ‘right.’

The impact of missing just a few of the market’s best days can be profound, as shown by this animated look at a hypothetical investment in the stocks that make up the S&P 500 Index.

https://my.dimensional.com/videoframe/27061/missing-the-markets-best-days

Sources: Dimensional Fund Advisors LP is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Can You Name A Beneficiary For Crypto Assets In Your Estate Plan?

Do you hold crypto assets or are you looking into owning some? You need a plan for how you’ll hold it during your life and what happens to it after you pass away.

Crypto is only becoming more possible but this raises plenty of questions for people who hold crypto assets about what happens to those assets when they pass away. If you do not have a specific plan for cryptocurrency assets in your will, these could all disappear permanently when you pass away. Crypto transactions live on a blockchain and are verified independently by a network of computers, which means they are assets handled and stored differently than those inside traditional banks.

Crypto is considered a probate asset because it will need to go through probate before it can be legally transferred to your beneficiaries when you pass away. A beneficiary is an organization or a person who you want to inherit a particular asset when you pass away. In order to make sure that the right person has access to all of these details, you need to list out all of the crypto assets in your estate plan, name where they are stored, and which beneficiary should receive them.

Furthermore, you’ll also need to appoint an executor as part of your will, and this is the person responsible for administering your last will and testament. A digital property executor may also need to be appointed and it may be a separate person who is familiar with cryptocurrency. For more support in drafting a comprehensive strategy for your cryptocurrency in your estate plan, set aside a time to meet with a lawyer.

Why A Will Isn’t Enough For Business Estate Planning

If you own a business, you need business succession planning and careful consideration about how to craft your estate planning to support your individual and company needs. Many business owners might only have the most basic of estate planning tools of a last will and testament.

If your estate plan only has a will in it, your estate, including all of the assets inside your business will have to go through the court supervised process known as probate when you pass away. It can take a few months for someone to appoint a person on behalf of you and your company to take action. This can significantly disrupt cash flow and operations. Furthermore, many people who have worked hard to establish a business want to maintain control over that and benefit from privacy. Remember that probate is a very public process, meaning that the affairs of your business could be open to your competitors or your neighbors.

Having the insight of an experienced estate planning lawyer is strongly recommended for every business owner who is looking forward to the future. Creating a business succession plan is one of the cornerstones of your estate plan because it allows for the transfer of the business based on decisions that you make now.

It can also include important documents, such as a buy-sell agreement, which allows certain other people to be able to step in and purchase your portion of the business if needed. Having these options is instrumental for keeping your company operating after you have stepped away, and it ensures that the right people have been tapped to step into leadership roles as necessary. Do not hesitate to contact an experienced business succession planning lawyer to discuss this option more.

What Expenses Are You Potentially Leaving Behind?

A recent study by Empathy.com has shown that the average family incurs over $12,000 in unexpected expenses after a family member passes away. Every year, 3 million individuals pass away in the United States, some of whom have estate plans and others who leave all the questions to be answered by their family members. Funeral costs can be extensive and expensive.

Many people do not realize the comprehensive aspects of planning ahead for a funeral, and failing to plan is still a plan because it leaves your loved ones in the difficult situation of making these decisions after you pass away. This doesn’t incorporate your individual wishes and intentions and could even put them in a financial bind. Some of the average costs for services spent by family members around the country include:

  • $3,910 in attorney fees
  • Over $7,000 for funeral or memorial expenses
  • $2,456 for accountant support
  • $4,461 for real estate professional help
  • $1,637 for social workers or therapists

Approximately one in seven families had a little bit easier road with these expenses because their loved one had paid in advance for those costs. Set aside the time to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure you have thought of a way to help plan for these potential expenses and make things easier on your loved ones.

Most people want to, at a minimum, make sure there are no burdens or messes left behind when they pass away. This means thinking about what advanced planning you’ve done and how it can help your family members during an otherwise difficult time.