Georgia entrepreneurs should make sure that their estate plans include the appropriate legal tools and documents that can ensure that their business will continue to grow after their death. Proper estate planning can also assist with distributing wealth equally and reducing estate taxes.

One of the most important reasons to devise an estate plan is that it gives owners a mechanism to exert control on the company after they die. This is helpful for business owners who want to ensure that the assets are properly maintained for their children and grandchildren.

An estate plan is also used to provide protection for the business owners and their assets against lawsuits and other legal events, like divorce. Establishing an owner’s preferences regarding health care, minimizing federal estate taxes and specifying how assets are to be distributed are other benefits of an estate plan. Entrepreneurs may be particularly interested in how an estate plan may be used to reduce estate taxes. The threshold for federal estate taxes is now more than $11 million for an individual as a result of tax legislation that was passed in December 2017 and signed into law by President Trump.

Certain types of trusts are not considered part of a person’s estate, and thus they are not affected by federal estate taxes upon the death of the settlor. Trusts do not have to go through the probate process either. Business owners may want to consider speaking with an estate planning attorney about which legal avenues they should use to protect their company and its assets for future generations.