Smart Estate Planning Tips for the Entrepreneur

estate planningAs an entrepreneur, you have spent years focusing on how you can grow your business. While this is an important aspect of business ownership, how much time have you put into considering what will happen to your business if you are injured, suffer a chronic illness, or die?

If you fail to plan, you run the risk of unraveling years of hard work and dedication. Furthermore, if you have employees, the fate of their jobs is at risk too, and your loved ones who depend on your company’s income may find themselves without the financial safety net they once relied on.

Business owners need more than a standard estate plan. In fact, they need a customized plan that includes a power of attorney, trust, and succession plan.

Tips for the Smart Entrepreneur Ready to Create an Estate Plan

Whether your business is one year old or 20 years old, now is the time to protect your hard work and the investment you have put into your business. When you are creating an estate plan, consider some of the following:

  • Start with a will. The first step in estate planning is a last will and testament, called the “will” for short. All business owners need a will, even if you intend to create a trust later. A will specifies how your assets are distributed, who will receive them, and who will serve as your estate’s personal representative (known as the executor).
  • Create a power of attorney. Next, you need a power of attorney. This names one person to handle all business affairs if you are incapacitated, suffer from a chronic illness, or cannot make decisions on your own. The person you designate could be another owner or partner, family member, or even company attorney that you trust. The person will have an enormous amount of power over your business, including handling all assets, financial accounts, receivables and payables, and payroll to employees. Therefore, select someone that knows your business and can run it the way you would if you were still there.
  • Set up your trust. A revocable trust is best for the entrepreneur looking to protect their company, but also their family members. Revocable means that you can modify and move assets later to accommodate any business changes. Also, you can designate someone to manage the assets of your trust if you become incapacitated or die.
  • Create a success plan. You need a formal, written succession plan so that your business can seamlessly transfer upon your death. It is important that you identify a person who will be an adequate new owner or capable enough to carry on your business goals, assume the managerial and executive duties, and run the business successfully. The person you select could be a family member, including a spouse, a business partner, or a third party. The succession plan is by far one of the more complicated areas of your estate plan because you must clarify how the business will transfer to the new owner, rules for hiring new employees, and how family members working for the business will be handled upon your death.

Protect Your Life’s Work by Meeting with an Estate Planning Attorney

You have worked hard over the years to create a successful, profitable business. Now is the time to protect all your hard work by creating an estate plan customized with your entrepreneurial work in mind.

The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. knows how much your business means to you, and that is why we are here to help you protect your business from the unknown. Schedule a free consultation today to see how you can create an estate plan and solid succession plan for your business.

Call 516-605-0625 to schedule your free consultation appointment or inquire about our estate planning services online.

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