In addition to practicing business law, my practice also includes estate planning. Now after going through this lifecycle of a business, you'll probably understand that starting and running a business can be a 24-7 job. Hopefully, you've assembled a strong TEAM to help you out. But there's still going to be a lot of requirements on your time. It's going to be a very busy time for you. But I'm here to tell you that you should not neglect your personal life as well.

Your Estate Plan

One of the main areas that entrepreneurs forget to address is their estate plan. Your estate plan includes documents like a will or a trust, a financial power of attorney, a healthcare power of attorney, and a HIPAA authorization.

  • Your will or trust is important to make sure that whatever happens to you if you were to die that all of your assets go to the right place. Especially if you have a business interest, and you want to make sure it goes to the right member of your family. For example, you want one of your sons and not the other to be the one running it. You want to make sure your wills in place and have proper provisions for that.
  • There's also a financial power of attorney that can be important. What if you're running the business and you're in a car accident and unable to speak for yourself. There's a likelihood you'll recover but someone needs to run the business in the meantime. That financial power of attorney will allow that person to conduct the affairs of your business until you get back on your feet.
  • A healthcare power of attorney similarly allows a loved one to make healthcare decisions for you if you become incapacitated.

Another tip I have for you is to make sure to meet with your financial advisor yearly. We've talked about it before as part of the TEAM but the financial advisor, whether on the personal side or the business side, will be able to help you make sure you're moving forward to towards your financial goals. Just like going to the dentist, a financial advisor doesn't help if you just go once and then don't go back for a decade.

A lot of things can happen in the meantime. I also encourage you to meet with your accountant and take advantage of all the options that they offer to you. Some accountants are very hands-on and will even offer bookkeeping services, others will hopefully at least reach out and discuss with you where your business is going and see if we have to make any accounting changes on a yearly basis.

In the end, your business can leave a great legacy for your family, so I don't want you to neglect any planning on the personal side for your family's sake. We want to make sure that we leave the business and strong hands, and that your family gets the full benefit of your business legacy.

Next Steps

If you're ready to take that next step and get your business off the ground (or you're ready to get your estate plan in place to protect your business and personal leagacy), let's set up a Legal Strategy Session to discuss the best options for you. Or, if you'd prefer more information, you can download the Business Lifecycle report for more information.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.