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No will, nothing. In Montana.

Your question indicates there was no succession planning, not even a simple will. Your next call should be to an attorney in your state who is familiar with probate, real estate, employment and business law. All of those fields will help form your decisions on whether to keep the business going, sell it, or wind it down.

For other people reading about this situation, be reminded there are many approaches the business person can use to avoid probate: business organizations such as Corporation or Limited Liability Company, Family Limited Partnership, and Living Trust or Irrevocable Trust.

The first step is to admit that our lifespans are limited, but the value of our life's work can continue to serve others after we pass on.
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Reply to John L. Roberts
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We just went through the dissolution of a family business. My in-laws owned it and it went bankrupt. He was a business owner and had no will? Yikes.

Ok, tomorrow morning, you absolutely, positively need to find yourself an attorney. If there are other family members involved as there were in our case, you need to be very careful what you do. Also, the government is involved in everything and the last thing you want to do is give the IRS the impression you are, even unintentionally, trying to hide anything. Tax laws change by the minute and you need someone who is aware of those laws. Even just the paperwork is a phenomenal undertaking.

When we were “awarded” the money from the family business, we had no idea that most of it would go back to the government in taxes. We were naieve and stupid. So we spent it. Then we had to pay it back. Still struggling after that.

Do not try to figure this out on your own, no matter how savvy you might be about financial things. Call and attorney and if they feel they cannot handle this, they’ll refer you to someone who can.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Did your husband have a Attorney for his business? Most business owners have an Attorney. My husband is a small business owner and has an Attorney that handles his business stuff.
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Reply to LisaNJ
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Unless your name is down somewhere as his business partner, then no, without a will, it must go to probate.
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Reply to cmagnum
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