As an entrepreneur, you may be so caught up in your business plan that you have not given any thought to estate planning. This is understandable because launching and running your own business requires a lot of time and energy. One of your long-term goals might be to sustain a viable business and pass it on to your heirs but this may not be possible if you do not plan for the future.
When a business owner dies without a plan in place, the government does not consider his or her hopes and dreams. The government looks at which parts of the business are taxable. If you own the business in partnership with others, you have to plan for what could happen when you are no longer there to look after your own interests. You also have to remember that even if you have trained your heirs in running the business on a daily basis, this does not mean that they will know anything about how to carry on or if needed, liquidate the business when you are gone.
You can visit entrepreneur.com for some basic definitions of estate planning terms such as will, living will, living trust, and durable power of attorney. The site tells entrepreneurs “…it’s vital to have a master document with all the info your family will need to take care of your affairs. This should include account locations, numbers and passwords; a list of emergency contacts; final arrangements; and so on.”
Technori.com also offers advice on estate planning for entrepreneurs as well as a worst-case scenario to spur you to action.
To get your estate plan in good shape, you may need the help and expertise of other business owners, including a Fee-Only financial planner.