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Estate planning tips for business owners

As a business owner, you may be so focused on handling the day-to-day operations of your business that you may forget to plan for the unexpected. As an entrepreneur, you are most likely very skilled at planning and this should include your estate.

When you fail to have an adequate estate plan in place, you may be risking a lifetime of hard work which can affect family members and associates. If you are wondering what estate strategies you should focus on, here are a few important ones.

Begin with a will

As a business owner who may also have a family, the need for a will is truly vital. If you have neglected drafting a will because you think it is something for later on down the road, you could be making a big mistake. With a will you can plan for the distribution of your assets and you are able to name the executor of your business.

Create a succession plan

If you are involved in an accident today, who would be in charge of your business tomorrow? It is not a pleasant thought, but it is one that a mature business owner should consider as essential. A successful succession plan should be one where you can ensure that your business will continue on after you are gone with minimal disruption. Succession plans will include designating key decision makers and creating a strategy where important information is made available to the new people in charge.

Declare power of attorney

In the event of your incapacitation or death, you will want to declare someone you trust to be able to handle legal affairs pertaining to your business. This can include, financial transactions, payroll and creditor payments. If you do not have a power of attorney established, the court will appoint a guardian to handle these decisions.

Consider a charitable trust

You may want to consider taking a philanthropic approach to your business property by choosing a charitable trust. Establishing a charitable trust means you will be donating the assets of your business to groups or organizations you have a passion for.

Organize your records

An important part of estate planning is not leaving a mess once you are gone. As a business owner, you should have important records and documents organized and accessible for when you are not around. Some of these documents would include business plans, financial statements, insurance information and anything else that you deem important for running your business.

There is no need to feel estate planning is confusing or troublesome as a business owner. You can begin with the steps listed above and move on from there. Before you know it, you will have a solid and workable plan you can feel good about.

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