Nearly 60% of Americans are without a will or living trust, according to the AARP. While 81% of older adults (ages 53 and older) do have estate plans in place, an alarming 78% of millennials (ages 18 to 36) and 64% of Generation Xers (ages 37 to 52) do not have a plan in place.
The need for end-of-life planning becomes even more crucial when the future of a business is jeopardized because the owner dies without a will or a clear plan for succession. The lives of the owner’s family, as well as his or her employees, can be thrust into chaos without proper planning.
Take these steps for orderly estate planning
If you own or operate a business, putting a plan in place to ensure its future is critical. Answer these questions:
- What happens to the business? The most common protections are buy-sell agreements, key-person insurance and a succession plan. Share your clearly-outlined plan with current and future owners as well as management.
- What happens to your estate? A strong estate plan that accounts for potential taxes, estate duties and executor fees can drastically reduce those costs. The plan and insurance policies should reflect the current value of the business at the time of your death.
- Is your plan up to date? Regularly review estate plans for any life changes, including updated values for your assets as well as your business and the status of beneficiaries.
- What are some extra benefits? Estate planning can be an essential part of overall financial planning for businesses as well as individuals. A comprehensive view of your personal and business assets not only helps you grow your wealth but also ensures that it is passed along according to your wishes.
Protect your family and your hard work with an estate plan
Business owners spend a significant part of their lives building successful companies, creating wealth for themselves, their families and offering opportunities for others. An attorney experienced in business law and estate planning here in California can help you put a plan in place to protect your business and your family while ensuring a smooth transition for your company.