Michigan business attorneys see again and again how folks underappreciate just what they can do to protect their businesses through estate planning. After spending years building a solid business, it should almost go without saying that you want to protect what you’ve created. One way to do this is to create a living trust.
A living trust gives you the ability to legally transfer your business or shares of it when the time comes. One advantage that is not to be overlooked here is the fact that the assets in the living trust won’t be subjected to the probate process. This allows for a much smoother transition—one in which you have a significant say. Of course, taking this step with your business attorney now can also save a whole lot of money that would have been spent in that probate process, too.
A lot of business owners also find that avoiding probate is good for the health of their company for non-financial reasons. When a business or estate goes through probate, the information that comes out of the situation is made public. This can be damaging to a business, whether through reputation or the sharing of information that should be held in confidentiality.
The living trust is something that can be used not only in the event of your death, but also if you happen to become incapacitated by illness or injury. Because you’re the one setting the trust up, you have the opportunity to set out the parameters for it, within legal bounds. In a best-case-scenario, you will already have a succession plan in place and will have prepared that person for the job. Unfortunately, things like this don’t always follow the best case scenario, which is why your business attorney will probably encourage you to share the pertinent details of the trust with your successor.
In consulting a business attorney during this process, you can put yourself, your business, and your heirs in the best possible position. The lawyer will be able to ensure that the terms of the trust are in sync, not only with Michigan state law, but also with any legal obligations that are a part of your organization’s policies and procedures. Putting the trust together well in advance of a catastrophic event and under the direction of your lawyer also helps to strengthen it so that your wishes will be followed.
You’ve worked really hard to create a successful enterprise, and you likely hope it will endure without you. Asking your business attorney to help set up a living trust is an excellent way to do exactly that!