Own Your Own Business? Estate Planning Tips You Need!

Law Blog

Estate planning can be especially complex if you own your own business. You want to make sure your family is cared for, but it's equally important to make sure your business is also tended to. The following are a few tips than can help you get started when it comes to estate planning as a small business owner.

Tip #1: Have a succession plan in place

All too often, small businesses fall apart upon the passing of the owner because there is no one else to take over, or too much information pertaining to the business dies with the owner. You can avoid this by having a succession plan in place. This plan should detail who takes over the business and the amount of ownership each new owner will have in the business. It should also address all the necessary items that must be attended to to ensure there is as little interruption as possible during the transition. Part of a succession plan may require ongoing training of staff that begins now. It may also require that you leave information with your estate attorney, which will be turned over to the staff or new owners immediately upon your passing. Each business will have its own special succession needs, so it's vital you work with an estate planning attorney. Then, you can revisit the plan annually and update as necessary.

Tip #2: Put a power of attorney in place

One thing that is overlooked is the power of attorney for business operations. This is especially important for sole proprietorships, since payroll and other vital operations may be put on hold in the event of the owner's passing if there is no power of attorney in place to put someone else in charge immediately. Everything will be held up until the court is able to appoint someone to take over vital tasks. Not only is this delay harmful for your business and staff, it also means the best person may not be appointed. Draft up the power of attorney documents now so this problem won't occur.

Tip #3: Get legal help

One major mistake is trying to handle all of this on your own. An estate planning attorney who has experience with business owner clients ensures you avoid problems. Work with your attorney to develop your succession plan and draft a power of attorney, and to make sure all your company records and documents are well organized so those that take over can quickly move into their new roles. An estate attorney will help you cover all aspects of preparing your business for the eventuality of your passing, so your company can live on long after you are gone.


27 February 2019

How to Gain Guardianship Over a Child

The laws governing child custody and guardianship can be confusing. As a family attorney, I have helped many clients gain legal guardianship over a foster child or a relative's child. Getting legal guardianship of a child you are caring for is important because you need to be able to make decisions about that child's education, health care and other matters. This blog will help you navigate the world of legal guardianship and show you how to take steps to get guardianship over a child whether the child's parents are cooperative or not. Legal guardianship does matter even if a child is not going to be adopted. I hope to help people find the way to get this done.