An Estate Plan is simply a way of organizing your affairs to make sure your assets pass to those you wish to receive them while taking maximum advantage of the income tax system. By planning ahead, it is possible to minimize taxation, protect beneficiaries from foreseeable problems and minimize asset shrinkage while accomplishing the long range goals of the persons who created the wealth.
Here are five considerations – there could be many others:
1) Examination of the will and provision to deal with the first clause in the will (paying just debts) by ensuring there are sufficient funds to pay taxes, creditors, etc.
2) Making sure there is an independent source of income for the surviving spouse and family.
3) Treating the distribution of the assets to the children fairly.
4) Allowing the business to continue as a financially healthy enterprise.
5) Creating an independent source of retirement income so that the business owner can step aside during his lifetime and transfer control of the enterprise to his successor, if that is the best option.