Family owned businesses and family owned farms can not only allow you to make a living as your own boss and to be in control of your own destiny, but can also make it possible for you to leave a legacy that lasts far beyond your years. You may have inherited a business or farm or you may have built one from the ground up. Whatever your situation, you owe it to yourself and to future generations to protect and preserve what you have created.
The Law Offices of Cheryl David helps you to understand your options for using all legal tools available in North Carolina to protect your company or your farm. Asset protection is important both while you are alive and after you have passed away, and we’ll assist you in making sure you’ve used every tool possible to help ensure your farm and company are never in jeopardy. Contact us now to learn more about the personalized service we provide to owners of family farms and businesses, and to get find out answers to questions including:
- What are the risks to family-owned farms and businesses in North Carolina?
- How can I protect my company or the farm in my family?
- How can a Greensboro asset protection lawyer help with my family owned farm or business?
What are the Risks to Family-Owned Farms and Businesses in North Carolina?
Family owned businesses and family owned farms are valuable assets. This means there is a risk those assets could somehow be lost. For example, a farm could be lost if you lose a court judgment or go into debt and a lien is placed on the property. A business could be lost if it is forced to go bankrupt because you go badly into debt and cannot make the bills.
Unfortunately, family owned farms or businesses could also potentially be lost because of matters totally outside of your control. If you suffer a debilitating illness or injury and need nursing home care, you may have to spend down assets to get Medicaid to pay for the cost of a nursing home. Depending upon how your business and farm ownership are structured, the value of the property and business assets could be considered when determining eligibility for Medicaid. If they are and you have no Medicaid plan in place, you may be forced to sell property or business assets to pay for nursing home care before Medicaid kicks in.
Assets could not only be lost during your lifetime but also after you pass, so you must protect your family owned farm and business even after your death. There are concerns about business succession issues, estate taxes, and behavior of your heirs which must be taken into account by business and farm owners.
How Can I Protect My North Carolina Company or Farm?
The steps to take to protect your family owned farm or company will be determined based on your own unique situation. However, some of the different ways it may be possible to protect your company or farm include:
- Incorporating. If you form a separate corporation for your business, your company is no longer considered to be the same legal entity as you. You cannot have your personal assets taken if the business goes bankrupt and your losses are limited to the investment you’ve made in the company.
- Creating trusts. It may be possible to use a trust so you can protect your family owned farm and company assets from being considered when determining if you can qualify for Medicaid. You can also use trusts to ensure your business or farm is not lost if it is inherited by someone with poor money management skills or if a bankruptcy or a divorce occurs. Finally, the use of a trust allows the trustee to take over management of assets in the event of incapacity and some trusts can reduce estate taxes or help you avoid such taxes altogether.
- Developing a succession plan. With a succession plan, you can facilitate the seamless transfer of your business or farm without interruption of operations.
These are just a few of many techniques to consider as you take steps to protect your family owned business or farm.
How can a Guildford County Asset Protection Lawyer Help?
No matter the size of your company or your farm, you need to take steps to protect it and ensure it can grow and succeed. Throughout Greensboro, NC, Guilford County, and surrounding regions of North Carolina, the Law Offices of Cheryl David has helped many farm owners and business owners to make the law work to protect what they’ve built. We know the law and can make sure you are taking advantage of all protections to achieve security, to grow your company or farm, and to ensure you can hand down these important assets to the next generation. To learn more, give us a call at (336) 547-9999 or contact us online.