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How can I secure my business' future through estate planning?

What could be more important than maintaining your family business? When it comes to estate planning, you may not realize that you have to take special steps to protect your family business assets in Massachusetts. The fact is that about 50 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product is dependent on family business, and about a third of Fortune 500 companies are controlled by families. It is never too soon to start thinking about wealth protection for your family-owned business.

How can your estate plan support the future of a family business? Creating a succession plan means that you set up a process for replacing yourself within the business after your death. This is a good idea because you could die unexpectedly, leaving your family and employees without the security they need and deserve. Creating a succession plan helps you align the interests of your family with the interests of the business, and it also makes it more likely that the business will stay in the family.

What should you do if you are missing a succession plan for your family business? First, consider your business' long-term goals and objectives, and figure out how you can balance those goals with the ideas you have for your family's future. Create a decision-making process for those who will be left behind, and develop a clear plan for the next-in-line managers who will be taking your spot. Integrate this information into your estate plan, and then create a full transition plan through property transfer and other mechanisms.

What if I need help? Planning for the future of a business can be an overwhelming task, which is why estate planning experts such as attorneys and financial professionals are such important allies. A qualified team of professionals can help you achieve your estate planning goals and support the future of your family business.

Source: Forbes, "5 Steps To Create A Viable Succession Plan For Your Family Business," Michael Evans, accessed May 12, 2017

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