O Death, Where Is Thy Sting? Business Week Frontier (08/14/00) Vol. 5, No. 15 p.F16; Wellner, Alison Stein
With just a small amount of planning, a family business
can easily be protected from the ravages of estate taxes.
According to a recent poll, only 14 percent of small businesses
purchase insurance to cover potential estate tax liability, and
only 15 percent seek help from an accountant or lawyer. Although
buying insurance and consulting professionals involves tying up
capital, these things must be done. There are easy methods to
make the dangers of estate taxation non-existent. The Internal
Revenue Service allows business owners to make tax-free gifts
valued at $10,000 a year. This is one way to reduce the value of
your estate. Selling stock to heirs at a discounted price is yet
another way to avoid paying costly estate taxes. Finally, find a
lawyer and an accountant who specialize in succession planning.
Drafting wills, laws applying to your estate, and setting up
trusts are all areas where a lawyer or accountant can help.