Owning a business means you have more to consider when planning for your estate.
So, you own a business.
Maybe it belonged to a family member before you.
Perhaps you built it from the ground up.
A true entrepreneur.
Whatever the origin, it is up to you to ensure its future success.
According to a recent business.com post titled “5 Estate Planning Tips for Entrepreneurs,” you must take the time to plan for you inevitable passing.
What may you need?
This is the foundational estate planning document.
Everyone needs one.
As a business owner, you are not exempt.
A will allows you to decide who will receive your assets when you are gone, as well as who will distribute these assets.
If you are the only one with access to your the digital assets for your business (e.g., email, online banking, company website, etc.), you will need to entrust your executor or family member with the account information.
Do not include this in your will.
Instead, use a separate document.
Your will is public when it is filed with the probate court.
Can you say "identity theft"?
A will only has power upon your death.
What if you are merely incapacitated?
You will need a power of attorney.
This will enable you to choose an individual to manage your business affairs when you cannot.
Without this, a court will choose someone.
The courts choice may not coincide with what would be best for your business.
Want more privacy in your estate planning?
You can use a revocable living trust.
The trust will hold the title of your property.
You can modify it.
You can still act as trustee and manage your assets while you are alive.
Do you have partners in your business?
If so, you will likely need a buy-sell agreement.
This is useful for valuing and distributing your interest if you were to declare bankruptcy, divorce or die.
This will create an easy transition of your business to a new owner.
What topics might you include?
- Hiring procedures
- Promotion of family members
- Conflict resolutions
- Transferring ownership
You have worked hard to build your business.
Do not waste your hard work.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to create a plan to preserve your legacy.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: business.com (November 15, 2016) “5 Estate Planning Tips for Entrepreneurs”