We recently had a client going through a very difficult situation during a time of immense grief.
The client’s spouse was a young, hard-working small business owner who suddenly and unexpectedly died.
As is common with many young people, her spouse had never considered creating an estate plan or what might happen to the business after he was gone. Our client had a career of her own and was unable to assume the day-to-day requirements of running small business. She needed guidance.
Our client’s only option was to sell the business, however she discovered that she may be liable for an enormous tax bill after completion of the sale.
We knew we had to get to work quickly to help structure a sales agreement that would lessen the tax burden. We are not accountants, but in a case like this, we know which experts need to be involved. T&E attorney, Jake Smallhorn, helped the client put together a team, including a CPA knowledgeable on business sale agreements, to work together to draft a sales contract and develop the correct sequence of events for our client.
“When a client is going through a time like this, it doesn’t make it easy to deal with business issues. They just want to get it done,” said Jake, “but bad tax advice could lead to expensive, and unintended results. We want to honor the wishes and memory of the deceased person and prevent the government or some other unintended person from taking money that should rightfully go to the loved ones who are left behind.”
Through his research for our client, Jake gained a great deal of knowledge about tax issues relating to the sale of a business, which he says, “sound boring until you need it.” The lessons learned through this case will allow Jake to help his future clients prevent a similar situation from occurring upon the death of a loved one.
Ultimately, he was able to help our client save over $100,000 in taxes.
“A lot of people don’t realize what a headache even a successful business could be for loved ones if the business owner never thought about what will happen when they are gone,” said Jake. “Our hope is to prevent this type of thing by collaborating with your CPA and family to structure a plan that accurately represents what the business owner wants to happen, and a plan that avoids the payment of unnecessary expenses to the greatest extent legally possible..”
To learn more about Jake, visit his bio. If you need to make an estate plan for your family or small business, please call us today at 855-522-5291. Your first consultation is always free.