Omaha Business Succession Planning Attorneys
Small business owners, like the owners of a farm, ranch, or small family partnership, should ensure that they have a proper line of succession in place for their business. Ensuring that the business ownership transfers correctly is extremely important, especially when the business plays a large role in the financial well-being of a family.
Bottlinger Law L.L.C. can help create the necessary entities, work with existing entities, and draft strategies for a successful transition of ownership. There will likely be plenty of documents required for such a transition, and we are here to help. Please call us today at (402) 505-8234.
We are invested in helping your business succeed in that transition, so we are prepared to go beyond a simple transfer of ownership. We can help you draft a holistic plan for transitioning legal ownership and also for transitioning management so the succession is a success.
On a Farm or Ranch, What Is Your "Estate"?
When it comes to your farm or ranch, your estate includes pretty much everything that you own, including financial assets, property, tools, and machinery. It encompasses a great deal, which can make it very difficult to determine all that you possess and how to deal with it. Farm and ranch estate planning is no small task, especially if you have more than one child and need to figure out how to divide your estate in a way that is fair and will hopefully prevent any conflict down the road.
If you don't plan out your estate, then you are leaving it up to the state of Nebraska and other people to decide what happens to your property after you pass on.
Who Gets What After I Die?
An estate plan lets you clearly identify all of your possessions and how they should be divided after your death. Without a plan, there are Nebraska laws in place that dictate what happens to your possessions. Here is a general guide on what will happen if you do not have an estate plan:
- One Heir: If you only have one surviving heir, such as a spouse or a child, then all of your property, after debts and taxes are paid, goes to that person. This is a pretty simple situation, but having an estate plan can make the transition much easier.
- Multiple Heirs: In Nebraska, if you have a surviving spouse and children, your spouse inherits the first $100,000 of property, plus half of any remaining property. Your children then inherit the rest. How the property is actually divided, however, can be quite contentious and lead to a great deal of conflict, all of which can be avoided through a clear estate plan.
- Parents: If you have a spouse and parents, then the surviving spouse inherits the first $100,000 of the property, plus half of the remaining property, and your parents inherit the rest.
Different Ways to Handle Your Estate
There are different methods you can use to plan out your estate and how it is handled, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The best way to decide what is right for you is to speak with an experienced Omaha estate attorney and together create a plan that handles all of your property. Common methods include:
- Titling: This refers to the use of a title of ownership between multiple people, which then designates ownership after death. For example, if you and a spouse both have your names on the title of land you own as joint tenants with right of survivorship, then it will become the property of the surviving spouse should one of you die.
- Will: Perhaps the most common method of estate planning, a will lets you clearly designate what happens to your estate. This can include instructing who gets exactly what, even setting prices if you want your children or other relatives to have a chance to buy assets from your estate, rather than gifting them.
- Trust: Setting up a trust is a great way to handle property with multiple heirs, such as numerous children and perhaps even grandchildren. Trusts are relatively simple, but you need an experienced lawyer to set one up properly in order to protect your assets and decide how they are handled once you are gone.
Gift Tax and Estate Tax
Taxes can be a major concern when planning out your estate. Both giving your property to a family member while you are alive, and leaving it to them upon your death, can incur transfer taxes, which have a federal rate of around 40%. While this number is quite high, everyone has an exemption for these taxes of up to $5.43 million per person. A surviving spouses may be able to use his or her deceased spouse’s unused exemption, but this requires careful planning and precise action at the time of the deceased spouse’s death. Assets beyond this exemption amount are subject to federal transfer taxes. We can work with you to create a plan and figure out how to deal with these taxes if they are going to be an issue.
- Business Succession Info from the U.S. Small Business Administration
- Now Is the Time to Think About Your Small-Business Succession Plan
Our Estate Planning Services
From helping you identify whether a will or a trust makes the most sense to business succession planning and medical directives, Bottlinger Law L.L.C. provides a wide range of estate planning services. Learn more about each of these services by clicking the links below.