So You’ve Found Me. Now What?
You’re probably here because you feel the need to do something about your estate or because you’re thinking about starting a business. Maybe you already have a business and need some legal help. Maybe you need some help with both your business and your estate–often one need follows the other much like day follows night. Unlike day following night, however, such planning is not the inevitable outcome of wanting to plan.
I know. I passed my first bar exam in 1981 and wrote my first will and trust soon thereafter, yet I didn’t do my own estate plan until 13 years later. (You think carpenter’s spouses have things to complain about!) Since 1991, I’ve started two businesses and never once sat down with an advisor. Why? You know the answer, the excuse. You’ve probably used it yourself:
You’re busy. Your attorney is going to want all sorts of information to begin planning, and you don’t have the information at hand. And then there’s all the decisions you’ll need to make and the cost! In short, good planning takes time and effort and money and well, you’re busy. Right?
Wrong. The road to nowhere is paved with the easy excuse. Whether you need business or estate planning, the cost of not the planning surely outweighs the cost of doing the planning. And the time you’ll waste in the future because you didn’t plan today will give the lie to the “I don’t have time” excuse you may be using now.
Now’s the time to address your estate or business planning concerns, and you’ve come to the right place.
I do estate planning–wills, trusts, and the like–and business planning–formation, governance, succession, etc. Nothing else. I work with individuals, small and family business owners, farmers, and ranchers. My goal is to provide good service and good work product, for a fair price.
What’s your goal?
Is it to plan your estate? Actually, if estate planning is your concern, the first question you should ask is “Do I need estate planning?” To find out, examine the following list. If you answer yes to one or more of the questions below, estate planning should be on your radar:
1.Do you have children, especially minor children or children with special needs?
2. Is your tax bracket in excess of 15%?
3. Are you concerned about protecting your assets?
4. Do you or your spouse expect to receive an inheritance sometime in the future?
5. Do you have some children who are financially better off than your other children?
6. Are you in a second marriage?
7. Do you have step-children?
8. Do you have some children who know how to manage money and some who don’t?
9. Is the size of your estate anywhere near $5,430,000 (if single) or twice that if married?
10. Would you like to leave something to your favorite charity?
11. Do you own property in more than one state or in a foreign country?
12. Are you an alien–nonresident, resident, soon to become resident?
13. Would you like to minimize income taxes when your estate passes from one person to another?
14. Do you have adopted children?
15. Are you divorced or re-married? Are you contemplating marriage?
16. Do you have health concerns?
Are you getting the picture? To repeat: If you answered yes to any one of these questions, you should do some estate planning. I can help.
Or is your goal to do business planning or resolve a business problem? Such planning comes with its own list of concerns, many of which you may not have considered:
1. If you’re starting a business, which entity form should you choose? Sole proprietorship? Partnership? S or Corporation? LLC? LLP? etc.
2. Do you want to be taxed like a corporation or like an individual?
3. What about self-employment taxes? Is there a way to reduce those?
4. How can you maintain control of the business?
5. What happens when you decide to sell or simply shut your business down? What about passing it on to the next generation?
6. What if you want fringe benefits? How should that impact what entity you choose to form your business?
7. What state should you form your business in? What happens if you organize your business in one state but run it in another?
Etc. etc. etc. If any of these questions caused you to pause and think, then maybe a red flag is waving to get your attention. If so, I can help.
Let’s get started. Now’s the time to answer these and many other questions, whether about your estate or your business. Now’s the time to do what successful people do. Plan. Get it done and move forward.
I’d love to help you do just that, to walk you through the planning process, so both you and those who depend on you derive the greatest benefit from your hard work.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 801-224-4024. Whether you live in Wyoming or Utah. Give me a call and let the planning begin.