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Estate planning critical for entrepreneurs

Business owners in Florida may have particular concerns when it comes to planning for the future. Making a will and having an estate plan is essential for everyone who wants to protect their loved ones, but it can be especially crucial for business owners. In many cases, a privately held business may be a major source of family income or comprise a large portion of the owner's estate. It can be important for spouses to talk with each other and develop an understand of how the business will be handled after the owner passes away, especially if the company relies on specialized or technical knowledge.

Without an estate plan in place, other business partners and surviving family members may be unsure how to handle matters after the owner dies. The issue of passing a business on to a surviving spouse can depend on how the company is set up. When the family owns it wholly, it is more common to pass on the business, even if there is a decision to sell it later. However, it can be important to develop other agreements if there are additional business partners involved. The partners may reach an agreement to buy out the surviving spouse, for example.

A buy/sell agreement can be created to cover a number of issues that can be addressed in the case of death or incapacity of a business owner. This type of management agreement can allow surviving business partners to deal with government contracts and other agreements, keeping the company going after a death.

Business owners have a number of important interests to balance when making a plan for future contingencies. An estate planning attorney might be able to help entrepreneurs to draft key estate documents like wills, trusts and powers of attorney that reflect their vision for their company.

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  • I have known and worked with Austin Frye and his team since 2008. In that time he has helped serve both my business and personal legal planning needs. From guidance on reviewing and keeping shareholder and state documentation up to date... - Robert
  • It is difficult enough to cope with the emotional challenges of closing a parent's estate, and when you are also faced with the issue of your parents having insufficient documentation, and being remote from your siblings… - Zara L.
  • Austin Frye provided legal services to my father while alive and to his estate after his death; when showing the EP docs his firm prepared to other professionals (lawyers, financial advisors, accountants)… - Mark S
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