Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Estate Planning When You Own a Small Business

So... you have been putting off making (or updating) your will.   This procrastination  can have additional dire consequences if you are a small business owner.  

When we meet with our clients who are considering their estate plan, we always like to discuss the practical aspects of their employment situation to see if there are additional considerations.  Are you an employee?  Are you retired?  No problem. Let's proceed to make an estate plan right now.  Do you own your own business... HOLD UP... let's slow down and go over a few more considerations.

A good estate plan isn't just going to just consider your death, it is also going to consider your incapacity.  Sure, a good will is going to help the situation if you are deceased, but what if you are ill, injured or otherwise unable to speak for yourself? What practical things would need to be taken care of between the time of your death and the probate hearing?   

This is something that should be considered in EVERY case, and it becomes even more crucial if you have your own business.

We encourage our clients to think through their day-to-day life, both at home and office, and consider what would happen if they were not there to take care of things. Does someone have the authority to act on your behalf?   Do they know HOW to do so?   Do they know WHERE to find things? The first time they make a phone call to customer service or try to pay a bill will they find that they don't have the authority or the funds to keep things going?

We can help you by creating powers of attorney, documents in which you can grant the authority to a trusted person to act on your behalf.   We can give you help and ideas on organizing data, passwords, and your financial information.  We can suggest the best ways to speak with your loved ones and your employees so that your business can continue even if you are not there to tend to the details.

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