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Can Businesses be Included in an Estate Plan?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Estate Planning

As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate, and you may have already done your personal estate planning. However, have you thought about including your business in your estate plan as well? In Florida, as in many states, a comprehensive estate plan can indeed include businesses. This is crucial for ensuring the smooth transition of ownership and management in the event of the owner’s incapacity or death.

The legal framework

Florida law provides mechanisms for business owners to include their enterprises within their estate plans. This can be done through various legal documents, such as wills, trusts and buy-sell agreements, which dictate the terms of succession and control.

Strategic business succession

A well-crafted estate plan will address business continuity. It will also provide clear instructions on who will take over operations. It should also address how the business will be valued, and the process for transferring ownership.

Utilizing trusts

One effective method for including a business in an estate plan is by placing it in a trust. This allows for a designated trustee to manage the business according to the terms set out in the trust document. This can be a third-party unrelated to the family or business, or a family member or business insider.

Buy-sell agreements

Buy-sell agreements are another option. These outline the conditions under which business interests can be sold or transferred. The agreements ensure that the business remains within the desired circle of individuals or entities, should you pass or become incapacitated.

Tax considerations

It is also important to consider the tax implications of transferring business ownership. Proper planning can help minimize estate taxes and provide liquidity for paying any taxes due upon the owner’s death. Though, trusts can be utilized to minimize tax liabilities, or at least push taxes off.


Incorporating a business into a Florida estate plan is not only possible but also a wise step for any business owner. It ensures that your life’s work is preserved and that your legacy continues as you intend.