When it comes to estate planning, most people think of a will. There is nothing wrong with it, yet, a will is far from the best solution. This is because, upon your death, all of your assets are subject to the judicial process known as probate. And probate implies more money, more time, and a higher level of complexity. We know you don't want that. Do you? Click here if you want to learn more.
If you have not yet put in place an estate and succession plan for your business, you’re going to leave the people you love most—your clients, your customers, your team, and your family—in the lurch when something happens to you. We get it - there are plenty of reasons to put off estate planning, and as business owners ourselves, we truly understand the common excuses for why you probably haven’t created your estate plan yet. But as a family business lawyer, stop making excuses!
It's easy to prioritize other business matters over estate planning when you're running a business. But, in reality, one of your most pressing responsibilities is to consider what would happen to your business if you became incapacitated or died. Although estate planning and business planning may be two distinct tasks, they're inevitably linked. And, because your company is likely your family's most valuable asset, estate planning is critical not only for your company, but also for your family.
Estate planning is not a one-and-done type of deal. Even if you put a totally solid estate plan in place, it can turn out to be worthless for the people you love if it's not regularly updated. No matter who you are, your life will inevitably change, and your plan should continuously evolve along with your life circumstances and other changing conditions. In the absence of any major life events, we recommend reviewing your estate plan annually to ensure its terms are up to date.
Don't let what happened to Bob Ross's family happen to yours. If you own a business, it's crucial to put in place an effective estate plan and should be properly coordinated with your business agreements to ensure that all of your wealth and assets will be passed on to your loved ones in the event of your death or incapacity. Failure to do this could lead them in the same situation as Bob's son, Steve, who's left with nothing, while the business built by his father continues to earn every year.