The Brick & Mortar Money ShowSeptember 28, 2023

How Effective Estate Planning Can Help Safeguard Your Business Legacy

In this episode of "The Entrepreneurial Agent," our guest, Laura Douglas, an experienced attorney specializing in estate planning, shares valuable insights on the importance of estate planning for closely held businesses and individuals.

Laura emphasizes the significance of key man insurance for closely held businesses, as it provides liquidity in the event of the founder's passing. This insurance helps fill any gaps in the business and allows for the hiring of someone to fulfill the founder's role.

Estate planning goes beyond just preparing for death; it also takes into consideration the potential for incapacity due to accidents or severe illness. Laura highlights the importance of powers of attorney, which allow for the management of personal assets and business affairs in such situations.

Proper estate planning includes the creation of trusts for minor children and the disposition of assets after death. Titling assets in the name of the trust can help avoid the time-consuming and costly process of probate, which is the legal transfer of title to beneficiaries.

Blended families also benefit from estate planning, as it allows for the desired distribution of property and the ability to leave assets to charity. Planning for business assets ensures that they are appropriately distributed, whether that be to a child working in the business or to be divided equally among children, including key employees.

When working with clients, Laura requests a comprehensive overview of their assets and business interests, with a focus on real estate investments. For clients with properties and businesses in multiple states, setting up a revocable trust is recommended to facilitate efficient management and administration.

Laura, who is part of the law firm Poole Brooke Plumlee, PC in Virginia Beach, also sheds light on their ability to work with clients who have moved to different jurisdictions while still retaining them as clients. If the firm is not admitted to practice in a particular state, local counsel can be utilized to ensure compliance with local laws.

The speaker emphasizes that estate planning has state-specific nuances, but the federal estate tax is applicable nationwide. Planning ahead not only saves money and legal costs but also helps prevent family disputes over assets after the owner's death.

The episode concludes by highlighting the various strategies available to reduce estate and gift tax exemptions and provide liquidity, such as utilizing irrevocable life insurance trusts. Lack of powers of attorney can lead to complications, especially for individuals with complex business structures, resulting in the loss of value for both families and employees.

Overall, this episode provides valuable insights on the importance of comprehensive estate planning for closely held businesses and individuals, with a focus on ensuring liquidity, minimization of expenses, administration costs, and taxes.

About Laura Douglas:

As the lead attorney of the Trusts, Estates & Elder Law Department at Poole Brooke Plumlee, Ms. Douglas advises both individuals and families with regard to a wide range of issues relating to wills, trusts, estate planning, estate and gift taxation, charitable giving, closely held businesses, business succession planning, estate and trust administration, and elder law. She crafts estate plans and assists clients in implementing those plans to address their individual family needs no matter what their stage of life: whether single, newly married, young families, blended families, empty nesters, retired, or widowed. 

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Meet the Host:

Paul Neal is the founder and Principal Funding Strategist at Vantage Point Commercial Capital, a firm that focuses on helping entrepreneurs, businesses, and real estate investors win by funding their growth and dreams in nontraditional ways. 

Paul’s unique perspective has been honed over 30 years as an entrepreneur, financial strategist, professional speaker, and executive coach. He took the road less traveled choosing to leave engineering right out of college to become a serial entrepreneur. From great early successes in the 90s and 2000s, to completely losing his primary business in the Great Recession of 2008, to bouncing back and just recently selling another business for a healthy 7-figure sum…he’s experienced it all. Paul offers a wealth of experience and passion to the entrepreneurial community in an engaging, upbeat, encouraging, and witty way. 

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entrepreneurship,estate planning,