Although most business owners in Alberta understand that legacy planning is an integral part of protecting their assets and dealing with succession planning. Coping with the business-related complexities such as tax issues and more could be challenging. However, seeking legal counsel who focuses on establishing wills and estates can simplify the process significantly.
Important matters to consider include contingency plans for the running of the business in the unfortunate event of the business owner becomes incapacitated or dies unexpectedly. If there are other business partners or co-owners, a buy-sell agreement might have to be established, and life insurance may be required to fund such agreements. Decisions will have to be made about a successor, and if the plan is to leave the business to a family member, what provisions must be made to provide other family members with equally valued assets?
The business owner will be wise to ensure he or she takes full advantage of the allowed lifetime capital gains exemption on business shares. Further considerations that deserve attention include methods to limit tax liabilities of the estate in the event of the business owner’s death. Other available tools include the complicated process that involves the freezing of the value of the business assets at a particular date to limit the capital gains tax bill.
Alberta business owners might be overwhelmed by the prospect of establishing wills and estates, but help is available. An estate planning lawyer who has experience in dealing with business law and legacy planning can provide advocacy with every step along the way. The lawyer can explain the available options and base advice and guidance on the unique circumstances of the business owner and aim to draft documents that will protect assets and hold up in court.