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.

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