As a business owner, your estate plan is a little more complicated than others. Your business is a huge asset and it’s important that you address what will happen to it after you are gone.
Will your business continue?
The first thing you must consider is if you want your business to continue after you pass. Especially if you are the sole owner, you will need to consider if someone else will step in or if the business will be sold.
Your family’s income
Businesses are often one of the biggest assets that you have. They also are likely a large portion of your family’s income. If you pass and do not leave a plan to take care of your family, they may not have the incoming funds that they need. It’s important to address how they will be cared for after you are gone. Will any buyouts or sales go to your family, or will they be taken care of when another steps in to run the business?
Your management team
As you create an estate plan, it’s important to consider what type of management team you have working at your business. Are you the sole authority, or have you been training others to step into your position?
A multigenerational business
Another option if you want to be the main authority over your businesses and do not want to have a management team in place is to create a multigenerational business. Do you have family members or children interested in your field? They may be good candidates for training to take over after you are gone.
The state of partnerships
If you run your business with a partner, you may have already discussed what will happen if one party passes away, but it’s important to have it in your estate plan as well. Will someone from your family, like your spouse or child step into your place? Or will your partner buy your shares out?
As you consider what will happen to your business when you are gone, be sure to talk with your estate planning attorney about your options. They will help you understand the best ways to preserve your legacy and care for your family.