estate planning for business owners

As a business owner, life can be hectic. Someone who chooses to take an entrepreneurial route often has to learn how to juggle managing their business with family life, in addition to actually doing their jobs! So many business owners put their blood, sweat, and tears into creating a profitable business. However, the job does not end here. As an entrepreneur, it is critical to implement an estate plan to protect the business you’ve worked so hard to grow. 

Appoint a Financial Power of Attorney

A financial power of attorney would appoint someone you trust to oversee your finances if you become incapacitated or worse. As a business owner, you more than likely have a more complicated financial situation than most. It is imperative that you choose someone who you not only trust, but who also understands the financial situation of your business. Many business owners will appoint a trusted CPA as their financial power of attorney.

Draft a Living Trust

Most business owners have several assets that are tied up in their business. These assets may even be essential to keep your business running. This is why it’s vital to create a living trust. A living trust is a legal document that will outline your directions for asset management and/or distribution, and will also name a legal entity or person as the trustee who is responsible for making sure your wishes are executed. 

One thing to keep in mind is that living trusts are not something you can draft once, and then forget about. As your business grows and assets change, it is important to remember to update your living trust in order to better protect your business. 

Create a Business Succession Plan

A business succession plan is a critical blueprint for any business owner who plans to one day transition ownership of their business. A succession plan is something that shows stakeholders your expectations of the business transition, and also outlines important company operations, mission statements, and visions for future owners. A business succession plan is a necessity for anyone who wants to protect the legacy of the business they worked so hard to create. 

If you have questions about creating an estate plan for business owners, we encourage you to contact Miller Estate & Elder Law at (256) 251-2137 or register for one of our free estate planning workshops.

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