Estate Planning In North Dakota

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Estate Planning In North Dakota

Individuals and families are often encouraged to prepare an estate plan, but estate planning is not an easy process. Each family is different; they have different goals, different interests, different resources, different needs and numerous other differences. Thus, a plan that works well for one family may be a total mismatch of another family. Accordingly, each family must develop an estate plan for itself. Planning is a complex topic that intertwines personal interests and goals with a variety of state and federal laws. This web site addresses estate planning, but as we will recognize, estate planning is perhaps a generic term that encompasses retirement planning, business planning, and transition planning. The next web page (Overview of Planning) introduces these four types of common planning processes.
Overview of Planning
Individuals are frequently encouraged to plan. This page defines four types of planning: business planning, transition planning, retirement planning and estate planning. Each type of planning is distinct, but in the "real world", they often are intertwined to the point where it is difficult to distinguish among them.
Estate Planning
Estate planning is a process by which individuals develop a vision for how their affairs will be finalized at the time of their death. Identifying heirs, providing for survivors, and managing taxes often are goals addressed in an estate plan. Wills, trusts, co-ownership, gifts, and life insurance are only a few of the tools that individuals can use to implement their estate plan.
Transition Planning
Transition planning is planning the transfer of the ownership and management of a business to new owner(s). During transition planning, business owners develop a vision for transferring ownership and management of the business, as well as ownership of the business assets from the current owner(s) to a new owner(s). The transfer of ownership and management of a closely-owned business often occurs over time, rather than as one immediate transaction. The process of transferring ownership and management, the timing of the transfers and other details often are considered in developing a plan to transition a business from the current owner(s) to the new owner(s).
Retirement Planning
Retirement planning is developing a vision for how a person will bring their working career to an end and plan how they will use their time and manage their assets now that they are no longer pursuing a career or operating a business. Whether there will be adequate income on which to retire is one of many questions often considered by persons who are preparing for retirement.
Business Planning
Business planning is the process by which business owners develop a short and long term plan for how the owners and managers will operate the business to reach their goals. Questions such as what and how to produce, how to market, how to finance the operation, and similar questions are addressed in a business plan.
Coordinating Planning Processes
Individuals often in engage in planning to achieve several objectives in a coordinated approach; such as how to transition ownership and management of their business so the new owners can succeed in the future while providing current owners with adequate resources for their retirement. This page discusses the challenges of attempting to coordinate several planning processes into one overall thought process. This challenge is often faced by families who own and operate an multi-generation business, such as a family farm business.
Resources & Links
Numerous universities have developed educational programs on planning. This page lists some of these resources. Families are encouraged to take the time to study these materials. Some topics are addressed in most educational programs; some topics are unique to a particular program. Whether you are reading about a planning topic for the third time or considering a unique topic for the first time, families often gain a "gem" that they can incorporate into their thought process.
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