After You're Gone

Death is still inevitable but taxes and family squabbling can be avoided

The "Death Tax" lives on, but don't shed any tears over Congress' failure last month to repeal the levy. There are plenty of ways to pass a small business to your heirs without taking a mortal hit on estate taxes (more on that in a minute). What will really kill your company is a related problem that you have to outlaw yourself: squabbling among your family over who's in charge. The fact is, estate and succession planning go hand in hand for a family business.

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