Court Bonds

Questions for Business Owners



While it’s important for every adult to have an estate plan, those who own businesses need to go even further, integrating personal estate planning with a succession plan that details how a business will move forward. Get started by asking yourself some key questions.


Estate Planning And Succession Planning

Preparing a will, and periodically updating it is a great basic step for leaving affairs as organized as possible for loved ones. Going deeper, a full estate plan also arms those we care about with the tools and information to act on our behalf, as needed during our lifetimes. For example, a financial power of attorney, and healthcare powers, designate those we trust to make decisions about our assets and medical needs should we experience capacity declines. 


Business owners need to go even further with a plan that responds thoughtfully to questions like: 


  • How do you want your business interest(s) to be handled in the event of your passing?
  • Who will run the company?
  • Do you want the business to continue to operate in order to generate income for your spouse, heirs, and or beneficiaries?  If so, who will manage, control, or represent these business interests?
  • Do you want your spouse, executor, or trustee to be entrusted with the authority to decide whether to hold or sell the business?
  • Do you need more than one executor or trustee, such as allowing your spouse to handle all personal matters and another individual to manage decisions regarding the disposition of the business interest(s)?
  • Is there an existing buy-sell agreement that allows business partners or some other party to acquire your interest in the company?


Essentially, when a business is involved it’s best for personal estate plans and succession plans to be integrated, though a variety of strategies and documents are likely to be needed. A succession plan is basically “a strategic blueprint for creating a seamless transition of business operations, management and ownership to partners, future generations or successor owners.” Whether your intention is to “keep the business within your family or sell it, before or after you pass away,” you should plan for the future of your business carefully, addressing “the systematic transfer of the management and ownership,” including considerations such as:


  • Development, training, and support of successors.
  • Delegation of responsibility and authority to successors.
  • Outside directors/advisors to bring objectivity to the process (when necessary).
  • Maximizing retention of key employees through equitable compensation planning for management, family/non-family employees, and active/inactive shareholders….
  • Coordination between who will own the business and who will manage the business.
  • Consideration of the best interests of the business and the owner’s family.
  • Timing of a transfer of the business during your lifetime. This may provide you with the opportunity to consult with the successor(s), and generally reduces the risk of a discounted sale of the business.
  • Steps to help minimize taxes and avoid probate



Appointing Fiduciaries

With a business involved, it’s likely that your estate plan will include one or more trusts aligned to your intentions. For example, GRATS or GRUTS “will allow any subsequent growth of the trust assets to pass outside of your taxable estate.” Ultimately, regardless of the estate planning tools and documents used, you will need to appoint one or more fiduciaries, who then become obligated to carry out your plan, in accordance with your intentions–and the law. For example, the fiduciary charged with administering a trust, is referred to as a trustee. Depending on your circumstances and region, you may also need to designate an executor, or personal representative. Typically, when your fiduciary representatives are designated, fiduciary bonds are required, and serve as a protection for your estate and beneficiaries.


Learn more about fiduciary bonds right here. At Colonial Surety Company, a leading national provider of all types of fiduciary bonds, the steps to obtaining bonds are easy: get a quote online, fill out the information, and enter a payment method. Print or e-file the bond from anywhere—even the law office. 


Obtain Fiduciary Bonds Here


Trust and Estate Law Practice?


Colonial Surety is here to help speed things up whenever and wherever a bond is needed. With a few clicks, you’ll arm your clients with exactly the bond specified.

Just log in to The Partnership Account® for Attorneys, choose a bond, send it to your client for payment, then download, e-file or print the bond. Specific obligee requirements? Trust us: Colonial’s a direct bond writer, so our experts are here to ensure the requirements of obligees across the country are properly met. 

Our fiduciary bond portfolio includes: administrator, estate, executor, guardian, personal representative, probate, surrogate, trustee, conservator and the list goes on. Our court bond portfolio includes appeal, supersedeas, injunction, replevin, receiver and more. 

Speedy, easy bonds court and fiduciary bonds, right here: 

The Partnership Account® for Attorneys.

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