How New Haven Probate Affects Business Succession

Nobody likes to plan for what happens after they die. It is uncomfortable and typically a topic people do not want to think about. However, if you own a business, the smart thing is to do just that.

Business succession essentially involves planning for what happens to your business after you pass away. Business owners should ensure that their business is included in their estate planning. Failure to properly plan for the future of your business can lead to an array of problems, including the discontinuation of the business entirely.

The New Haven probate process can impact business succession. If you are in need of advice, contact a capable probate attorney today to ensure that business operations are not interrupted.

Understanding Probate in New Haven

The probate process is a formal court procedure whereby a judge legally gives permission for the deceased’s assets to be transferred to any beneficiaries or heirs. Probate does not depend on if the deceased died intestate (without a Will) or had an executed Will, but rather, the process is triggered depending on what type of property the deceased owned and what it is valued at.
Title 45a of the Connecticut Code governs the probate rules and procedures in the state. Generally, the probate process will only be triggered in two situations:

  • The deceased exclusively owns property that is valued at over $40,000 and no beneficiaries are designated; or
  • The deceased exclusively owns real property (either land or physical buildings)

If these two situations do not apply to the deceased, then the probate process will not be triggered.

How Does Probate Affect Business Owners?

For business owners, it is possible that they owned a building where they conducted their business. If that is the case, and the building was owned solely by the deceased business owner, the estate will need to go through probate. During the probate process, the court will look to the deceased’s Will or business succession plan to determine how to divide up the deceased’s ownership of the business. This is why business succession planning is so important.

Creating a Business Succession Plan

How New Haven probate affects business succession is, without succession planning, it is very possible that the state will end up deciding the fate of the deceased’s business. Creating a business succession plan will ensure that the business owner’s wishes are realized upon their death.

If the deceased was the sole owner of a business, a successor to the business must be identified, whether that be family, an employee or an outside party. If the business had multiple owners, the business succession plan can outline the procedures for transferring the deceased’s ownership to the surviving owners. Known as a “buy-sell” agreement, this ensures that the deceased’s beneficiaries or heirs do not unintentionally become partners in the business.

Contacting a Probate Lawyer in New Haven

The probate process can get complicated pretty quickly. However, it helps to have a business succession plan that the probate court can reference to govern how it transfers the deceased’s ownership of the business to the correct individuals. Contact a probate attorney to discuss how New Haven probate affects business succession.