Estate Tax Strategies for Business Owners

Overview

In the absence of proper planning, the death of an owner of a closely held business may lead to an estate tax liability that can devastate the business, even with the increased federal estate and gift tax exemption under the 2017 tax legislation. While business owners often desire to keep a family business within the family upon death, failure to plan appropriately can compel surviving family members to engage in a postmortem fire sale of the business. Fortunately, planning for the estate tax is not limited to liquidity planning via buy-sell agreements and insurance. 

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