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10 Estate Plan and Business Planning Tips for Long Term Success

By Howard C. Stross
November 01, 2011

Estate planning and business planning are not one-time events. In order to achieve what you want from your estate and business, you need to meet regularly with your advisers, heirs, shareholders and/or partners to review your strategies and determine whether changes need to be made to your plans.

The estate and family business law attorneys at Stross Law Firm, P.A. have developed the following list of tips to help you know what kind of meetings and actions you need to schedule on a regular basis to ensure the success of your estate, financial and business planning.

10 Long-term Financial, Estate and Business Planning Success Strategies

  1. Schedule annual meetings with your attorney and CPA to assure that your personal assets are lawfully protected from business creditors through proper structure of your family business. Consultants recommend reviewing business structure and related laws with your attorney at least every two years.
  2. Hold quarterly shareholder, member, partner or board of directors’ meetings for your business and preserve written minutes of those meetings.
  3. Maintain an up-to-date buy-sell agreement with your business partners, members or shareholders and make sure it is funded or has a formula for installment payments.
  4. Plan for your family business succession.  (Possibly junior prefers to be an astronaut and not run the family business.)
  5. Retain the ongoing services of a CPA to consider the income tax and accounting aspects of your personal and business decisions.
  6. Take advantage of the estate tax exemption amounts for both you and your spouse. (As of 2011, both spouses each have an exemption amount of $5 million.  In effect, if correctly planned and implemented, the exemptions total $10 million for a married couple for 2011 and 2012.)
  7. Name currently available successor agents, health care surrogates, personal representatives and trustees in your estate plan and disability planning documents.  (You do have an estate and disability plan that considers your business and personal interests don’t you?) Review these documents at least every two years to ensure that they are up to date.
  8. Maintain up-to-date beneficiary designations for retirement plans and IRA accounts. Review these designations at least every two years to ensure that they are up to date.
  9. Include provisions in your trust agreement for your beneficiaries’ asset protection purposes, i.e. to lawfully protect your beneficiaries from predators and creditors.
  10.  Obtain long-term care insurance or implement a plan to finance your long-term care needs.

Would you like more information?

The estate planning and family business law attorneys at Stross Law Firm, P.A. recommend the following pages on this website for more information on business and estate planning:

Estate Planning
Business Law
Free Resources

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