One of the most important goals of estate planning is succession planning. For example, who will get your house, who will run your business, who will get your jewelry and other possessions. If you do not designate who is to receive your property, the state will decide for you, and the result may be not at all what you intended, especially if you have children from a prior marriage. If you do not plan for and designate who is to receive specific assets such as your house, your jewelry, or your business, you increase the possibility of disputes between your loved ones and business partners, or the need to sell these assets in order to settle your final affairs.
At Rice & Stallknecht, P.C., we can explain the practical difference between leaving real estate to specific people or having your executor sell the property and divide the proceeds between your beneficiaries. We can help you explore options for having your business continue after your death, including buy-sell agreements between partners or stockholders, and life insurance contracts. We can suggest techniques for dividing your tangible belongings such as antiques, photographs, and jewelry. Sometimes these items may not be valuable in the monetary sense, but they may be valuable in the sentimental sense, and these are the items that can cause the most conflict between your beneficiaries. We can help you decide whether to use a personal property memorandum or other technique, and whether to incorporate the terms into your will or trust. We can help you with your succession planning needs.