Mullen and Iannarone, P.C.
Serving the legal needs of corporations, individuals and
families of Suffolk County since 1972

Business owners can benefit from an estate plan

Small business owners in New York may have particularly strong reasons to think about their estate plans. Several celebrities have died without wills, leaving behind confused beneficiaries and valuable music catalogs. For exampleAretha Franklin's 2018 death without a will came despite the fact that she had an estate worth approximately $80 million. Prince died without a will in 2016, leaving behind a $300 million estate that has still not been finalized due to disputes among potential beneficiaries. The kinds of delays and problems caused when something like a business is not addressed can be devastating to the future of the enterprise as well as emotionally draining to loved ones.

When people don't have a will, their property is distributed according to state law on intestacy. In general, these laws favor spouses, children and parents. Even when people's relationships with their family members are positive and mutually supportive, making a will can help to avoid complicated issues that can arise. For example, in order to satisfy the percentage division under state law, a business could be sold and the proceeds divided. This could be averted by having a will that covers this issue.

In addition, a succession plan can be vital to help the business continue to thrive after its owner passes away. A business owner may want to obtain life insurance policies to keep the enterprise going during this transitional period.

Having key documents in place can help people to find their own peace of mind and save their loved ones from additional trauma after their death. An estate planning attorney can work with a small business owner to deal with this issue.

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