Family owned businesses and farms allow you to leave a wonderful legacy for loved ones, but these valuable assets can also leave you vulnerable. You need to make a plan to ensure your assets are protected, your farm or business is kept secure even if you become incapacitated, and your farm or business is able to transfer seamlessly upon your death.
Amen, Gantner & Capriano – Your Estate Matters, L.L.C. can offer you the advice and guidance you need to ensure your farm and business are going to be as safe as possible during your life and after your death. Give us a call today at 314-966-8077 to find out about how we can create a personalized plan for you and to get answers to general questions including:
- Why do owners of farms and businesses need advice from a lawyer?
- What can you do to protect your farm or your company?
- How can a St. Louis estate planning lawyer help farm and business owners?
Why is Legacy Advice Important for Those Who Have Family-Owned Businesses and Farms?
The ownership of a farm and a family business means you have a significant asset that you are responsible for protecting. You want to identify the potential sources of loss that could affect company or farm operations and you want to take steps to mitigate the risks. Legacy planning is the process by which you can take care of these issues.
An experienced St. Louis legacy planning lawyer can help you to explore what the greatest threats are to your business or to your farm.
- There is a risk that your farm or company could be lost when it is inherited if it is not managed appropriately by your heirs or if your heirs go bankrupt, get divorced, or have creditor claims made against them. There is a solution to these risk, by putting an ownership interest in the farm or business into a trust which a trustee manages for the benefit of the heirs.
- There is a risk that your farm or company’s value could be reduced if you become incapacitated and there is no one to effectively manage the company or the farm land. The creation of an incapacity plan – which could include a living will and/or a power of attorney grant of authority – can help to ensure that an appropriate person of your choosing is always managing assets.
- There is a risk that operations will be interrupted without a succession plan. If you need to leave the business or do not want to continue farming, you need a plan in place to ensure a seamless transition to new owners. Creating a plan, including a buy/sell agreement for businesses, could help you to avoid fighting or delays that could undermine the overall long-term success of the company.
- There is a risk of loss due to estate taxes: When a farm or a family business are considered to be a part of your personal estate, you could find yourself over the excludable limit. This would mean being taxed on your estate. If a lot of your wealth is tied up in the land or the company, heirs might not have the cash to pay the taxes. They could be forced to take out a loan or even to sell the farm or the company to get the money for taxes.
These are just a few of the risks faced by farm and business owners. Identifying these risks and taking steps to mitigate them is essential.
What Can You Do to Protect Your Farm or Your Company?
The specific steps you’ll need to take to protect your farm or company vary based on the situation. You may need to incorporate a business, create a trust, facilitate the transfer of ownership shares, create a power of attorney, draft a buy/sell agreement or do many other things necessary to protect the farm or business that should be your legacy. A St. Louis estate planning attorney can provide the necessary help to secure your company and farm for the future.
How can a St. Louis Estate Planning Lawyer Help Farm and Business Owners?
Amen, Gantner & Capriano – Your Estate Matters, L.L.C. can help you to protect your company or your farm by creating an asset protection plan, an incapacity plan, and a legacy plan. Give us a call today at 314-966-8077 or contact us online to learn more about the ways in which we can assist you in ensuring your farm or company can be handed down through the generations.