There are many factors to consider when estate planning in British Columbia. This is especially true if you’re a small business owner.
When Estate planning you must keep your small business in mind in order to save your partners legal hassle, help to reduce taxes, and provide guidance for any heirs to your company. Hiring a lawyer who knows British Columbia law offers will help protect your asset and will assure that your company will follow the path you’ve laid out.
Whether you live in Langley, Maple Ridge, Burnaby, or Coquitlam, lawyers at DBM are available to serve you at one of our Tri-Cities offices.
As you begin the estate planning process with your wills and estates lawyer, keep these four planning priorities in mind.
- Speaking with your business partners
If you have partners, any decisions should be discussed with them. Your lawyer will ask whether you’d like your share of the company to be bought out by partners (called a “buy-sell agreement”) or whether it will go to a family member.
- Speaking with your family
Whatever your decision about who your share will go to, your family should also have full knowledge of your estate directives. Under British Columbia law, children and spouses can contest a will if they feel they have been treated unfairly, so it is important to share your decisions about your small business—including who, if anyone, you’d like take over your role.
- Updating your life insurance policy
If you decide your shares will be bought by your partners under a buy-sell agreement, you may also need to update your life insurance policy. Getting the right policy helps to protect your company and enables your partners to purchase your share.
- Deciding who will fill your shoes
If you decide a family member will inherit your stake in your small business, a wills and estates lawyer will help you cover all your bases to make sure your wishes are followed. Alternatively, you can also leave directives as to how you would like your business partners to select your replacement.