An international survey of 336 middle-market family businesses recently reported in Forbes,“Most Family Business Owners Should Update Their Estate Plans,” found that more than 90% of senior executives with equity in the family business have estate plans, which is good news. Unfortunately, only 22% of these plans have been updated within the last two years, and a quarter of those have been updated within two and five years ago. Nearly half of those have not been reviewed in more than five years. That means they are likely out-of-date with changes to the law, out-of-step with changes in the family, and that their heirs are out of luck.
Most estate plans become “old” after a few years. This means that situations change, such as family relationships, business matters, and their net worth-making it prudent to review and potentially refine their estate plans.
In addition to out-of-date estate plans, the quality of these plans must be questioned, as some family business owners don’t take advantage of strategies to reduce estate, gift, and other taxes. In some situations, there are ways to improve the financials of the business and provide economic benefits to the family at the same time.
Speak with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney to make sure that your estate plans is up-to-date and is designed to take into account the latest advanced planning strategies.