Should I Move My Business Interests into a Living Trust?

If you own a business, it must be thought of as a unique aspect of your estate plan. With the help of our Pasadena business succession planning lawyer, we can help you see how the company impacts your individual plan.

Tying up the matters of an open small business during probate can be catastrophic. This is because your executor will likely need to run the business for many months under a court’s supervision. You might use a living trust to transfer your business interests to beneficiaries relatively quickly after you pass away, which is critical if you want them to be able to take over the business and continue running it.

There are different kinds of business organizations that will each represent unique aspects of estate planning. For a closely held corporation, this is a company that is not authorized to sell shares to the public. This is because all the shares are owned by a few individuals. You can use a living trust to transfer shares inside a closely held corporation by listing the stock inside your trust document.

You’ll also want to check your shareholder agreements in your corporation bylaws to find out whether there are any restrictions on your ability to transfer shares to a living trust. The second type of business that you might hold interest in is a partnership. If you operate a business with partners, it should be relatively easy for you to transfer your partnership shares to your living trust.

If there is a partnership ownership certificate, it will also need to be updated to reflect that the trust is an owner of your share. Finally, if you are a sole proprietor with all business assets held in your name, it is simple for you to transfer your business property to your living trust as you would any other type of property.

Owning a business creates unique estate planning opportunities on its own. It also raises questions about asset protection. For all of these concerns, you need an experienced Pasadena estate planning attorney to help you create and maintain a holistic plan.

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