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Estate planning for a Washington, D.C., family business

Many families that own convenience stores in Washington, D.C., spend a great deal of time building their business. However, some of them will forget to plan for how the business will be passed on upon the death of the owner. Estate planning can protect, and even shape, the business for future generations.

With proper planning, the business can pass from one generation to the next with as little disruption as possible. A successor or successors can be chosen, and all the tools that a person would need can be provided. This could include making provisions for monies that may be used by the business, such as life insurance policies.

The other large consideration that estate planning can tackle is taxes. It not done properly, or at all, heirs could end up paying a substantial amount in taxes that could otherwise have been used for the business. A buy-sell agreement between the parties can make arrangements for the sale of the business upon a specified event, such as the incapacitation or death of the current owner.

These are just a couple examples of how estate planning can benefit Washington, D.C., convenience store owners. No one likes to think about his or her own demise, but it is unavoidable if the business is to survive and thrive after the death of the owner. There are many different estate-planning tools at the owner's disposal, and deciding how to best handle passing on the family business may take some time and careful consideration. Once those decisions have been made, the documents will need to be properly drafted and executed in order to ensure there are no issues when they are needed.

Source: csdecisions.com, Succession Planning for Family Business, Mark E. Battersby, Oct. 10, 2013

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