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What women business owners should know about estate planning

Originally posted on 11/16/2016

A woman who owns her own business looks directly into the camera sitting at her office desk.

Women account for about 30 percent of all small business owners across the United States. Like their male counterparts, women business owners must plan for the future of their families with the same intent and professionalism as they approach the future of their businesses.

This post will highlight a few things that should be in a potential estate plan

Plan for People You Care For

If you are taking care of your grandchildren or other loved ones, it is prudent to name a guardian (as well as a secondary guardian) who can care for minor children in the event you are no longer able to do so. Any dependents would benefit from getting added to this list. 

Plan to be Cared For, If Necessary

Women are more likely to outlive their male spouses, according to many studies. Because of this, you may want to plan for someone to take care of you in your golden years if your spouse is no longer around. 

Protect Your Business

If only your debts could disappear upon your death. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and creditors may come after your business to obtain payment. To avoid or mitigate this nightmare scenario, a detailed succession plan is necessary. Having a seamless transition will help ensure your business and employees experience as little change as possible.

Protect the Aspects of Your Personal and Professional Life with a Qualified Attorney

Estate planning can be daunting, especially if everything seems to be running smoothly for you and your business. However, unexpected problems can strike and then it is best to have a solid plan. The experienced business attorneys at Aldrich Legal Services can help you plan for your estate. Call our team today to set up an appointment.

REAL ESTATE 89: RM had not included any language in the deed providing that the property was a joint tenancy with full rights of survivorship, the property instead became a tenancy in common.

RM drafted the deed without seeking counsel and mistakenly believed that, if either she or FK died, the property would fully pass to the surviving tenant. FK’s will provided that if his wife predeceased him—which she did—the personal representative of his estate should sell any residual property that he owned and divide the cash proceeds equally among his surviving children.

FAMILY LAW 83: A trial court can terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child.

A trial court has discretion to terminate a parent’s rights and permit a stepparent to adopt a child when the conditions of MCL 710.51(6) are met. MCL 710.51(6)(b) requires the petitioner to establish that the other parent had the ability to visit, contact, or communicate with the children, and substantially failed or neglected to do so for a period of two years.

PROBATE 53: The trust agreement included an Incontestability Provision.

A settlor’s intent is to be carried out as nearly as possible. Generally, in terrorem clauses are valid and enforceable. However, a provision in a trust that purports to penalize an interested person for contesting the trust or instituting another proceeding relating to the trust shall not be given effect if probable cause exists for instituting a proceeding contesting the trust or another proceeding relating to the trust.

FAMILY LAW 82: Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order (PPO) after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

However, the trial court concluded that these matters should, in fact, be in the province and the jurisdiction of the Family Division and in that respect, having issued a personal protection order, the Court stated it would terminate the personal protection order after the parties present documentation of the initiation of the divorce proceedings.

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The probate court explained that the owners of the account are S and J. When S passes, J becomes the owner of the account. J is the one who had the authority to make the designation. Nowhere in any documents is there a designation by J that SJ be the owner -- or the beneficiary of the account. The designation made by his father was no longer binding because he was no longer the owner at the time J passed away.

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