George Washington's example for estate planning

Tennessee readers understand how important it is to make plans for the future and ensure they have the right legal documents in place. Estate planning is a smart step for virtually everyone, regardless of age, health status, income levels and more. One person who provided a wonderful example of proper, thoughtful estate planning was George Washington.

Washington was more than a dedicated Revolutionary War hero and an exemplary first President of the United States. He was a thoughtful planner and family member, and he was very conscientious about what would happen to his estate after he passed. His will was thorough and detailed, and by doing it this way, he maintained final say over what happened to his property, money and other parts of his estate. 

Small business counsel can prove helpful for new entrepreneurs

Choosing the right structure for a new business is one of the most critical decisions made during the formation period. Entrepreneurs will have to make many choices in those initial stages that will affect how the business will operate, how taxes will be computed and more. There are many factors that go into making the right choice, and many business owners find it helpful to seek small business counsel as they take these steps. 

The choice of entity can allow the owner of the business to protect his or her own property and separate personal liability from any business liability. The choice of entity also affects how the company will pay taxes, whether the business can sell shares and how the business is managed. While it is possible to change the structure in the future, a Tennessee business owner will want to try and make the smart choice from the very beginning.

How to pass a business on to your family

Owning your own business has brought you much joy over the years. You have watched your business grow from its humble beginning to a successful company. As you are starting to get older, you realize as much as you enjoy running the business, it may be time to pass it on.

Creating a business succession plan helps ensure the future success of your business. It also gives you the opportunity to keep your company in the family. Here is what you need to consider when passing a business on to family members.

Where should a couple start with the estate planning process?

Planning for the future can be difficult for a Tennessee couple, especially when it comes to making legal and financial decisions that may not be effective until much later down the road. Estate planning can be a daunting process, and many people avoid it simply because they don't understand why they need to do it or where they should start. In reality, this is a smart step for everyone, regardless of income level or age.

One way that a couple can start the estate planning process is to take inventory of their estate. They may feel like they don't have much, but in reality, they probably have things like vehicles, savings accounts, a home, valuable collections and other things they want to address. They will also want to start by discussing potential estate beneficiaries.

Small business counsel good for uncertain times

It is impossible to predict the future, but there are steps that a Tennessee business owner can take in order to look forward with confidence. Things can happen, such as the death of the owner or other type of emergency, and having thorough plans in place will help ensure the continued operations of the company. With experienced small business counsel, a business owner can address important issues and formulate appropriate plans. 

After the recent unexpected death of a small business owner, his family faced difficult choices as they tried to decide whether they would continue his operations or sell. He had no succession plan in place or anything in writing that outlined what to do with the company. Ultimately, another family member stepped in to run the business, but that came with a difficult period of transition and uncertainty. 

The future of your business in this digital world

Like most Tennessee small business owners, you probably spend much of your time and energy keeping your business running and building its success. While you may have hopes of passing your business to your heirs or establishing it so that it provides for your family in the future, if you have not yet taken steps to implement these goals, you may leave behind a great deal of trouble.

Leaving our business unprepared for your eventual death or incapacity means your business, like your other assets, will go through the probate process. This could be devastating if your family depends on the income your business provides. However, creating a succession plan for your business is more complex than writing a will. There are many factors to consider and options to weigh, especially if your business includes digital elements.

Estate planning can help people feel confident about the future

Making important legal and financial decisions for the future is not easy. Often, a Tennessee adult may be unsure of where to start with this process or if it's even necessary. In reality, estate planning is a smart step for virtually everyone, regardless of age, health status or income level. Making smart choices now can allow a person to look to the future with confidence.

Estate plans allow a person to outline what he or she wants to do with his or her estate, which can be important even for people with average estates and income levels. One advantage to careful planning is that it reduces the chance that beneficiaries will have to fight over assets. It also allows a person to maintain a measure of control over the money and property he or she worked hard to build. 

Business transition services can help even in the formation stage

When starting a business, a Tennessee owner is focused solely on getting operations off the ground and making it through the first few harrowing months. It's not easy to run a business, and it takes a lot of focus and determination to gain success. Because of this, most entrepreneurs probably do not start out by thinking about what could happen in the future if they want to retire or sell their company. However, business transition services can be helpful, even in the earliest stages of a company. 

The choices a person makes in formation stage of a business will matter years down the road. It is crucial to be thoughtful about these decisions, as they can impact a potential sale or the value of the company. When a person is looking to buy a business, he or she will look at how the company was started and whether there have been honest operations from the beginning.

Properly addressing assets during the estate planning process

It's important for Tennessee adults of all ages and income levels to consider how they can protect their future interests and the interests of their loved ones. One smart way to do this is through specific estate planning steps, such as drafting a will or forming a trust. However, it's also smart to think carefully about how certain assets included in the estate are labeled and categorized as this can affect how the estate plan is executed in the future. 

In order to avoid complications down the road, any person with an estate plan will have to make sure that assets are property titled. One of the main purposes of a will is to distribute assets in an estate as outlined by the decedent, but improperly titled assets can hinder this process. Many people do not realize that a will actually only handles assets included in the probated estate. Other assets may pass straight to beneficiaries, regardless of the terms of the will.

Begin your succession planning as early as possible

When you started your Tennessee business, you likely had hopes for what would happen to it beyond your years at the helm. Maybe you imagined your children taking over and carrying your success well into the future, handing it over to your grandchildren for generations to come. As optimistic as those dreams may be, they are only dreams until you make a plan.

Even if your business is only a few years old, it is not too early to take steps toward the transition of your business to the next leaders. You may be surprised how easily you will be able to step away when the time comes if you are confident in your succession plans and the efforts you have made to prepare your business for the future.

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