Estate Planning Tips for Entrepreneurs: Protecting Your Business
Entrepreneurship is a calling that has likely given you significant personal and professional fulfillment. This part of your life should also be a big part of your estate planning. There’s a good chance that your Oklahoma City business is a significant portion of your estate, and working with an estate planning attorney is one way to ensure that your business continues your legacy. The team at Entz Burton & Associates is here to help you protect the future of your company.
While it’s widely believed that family businesses face a bleak future as they move through the generations, an in-depth analysis of the research shows that this isn’t true. A surprising amount of businesses last beyond the second generation, allowing them to outlast many larger corporations. An owner’s proximity to their business and their opportunity to make swift changes to address new trends gives these businesses the edge.
At Entz Burton & Associates, we understand how important it is to have an all-inclusive estate plan that addresses the various parts of your estate. Our clients praise our attention to detail, our commitment to making complex issues more understandable, and our genuine care for the families we serve. Call us at 405-773-9800 to set up a consultation now.
Why Estate Planning is Crucial for Entrepreneurs
Your business is more than just the fruit of your sacrifices and hard work. It’s a direct reflection of your passion and commitment. Without careful planning and frank communication with loved ones, the company you’ve worked to build could wither away after your passing. Many entrepreneurs maintain a significant presence in the day-to-day workings of their businesses.
When they pass away without a comprehensive plan and a transfer of power, it can throw the entire company into upheaval. As family members sort out the estate, the business may fall behind on deadlines and bills, lose employees who are unsure of what the family will decide to do, and ultimately fail. Planning early and reviewing your plan often can help you avoid this outcome.
Identifying Your Business Assets and Beneficiaries
To make the most of your time with your estate planning law firm, you may want to take stock of all of your personal and business assets. Include everything related to your work, from real estate and business contracts to intellectual property and joint ventures. These all have value and must be considered when you are deciding how to divide your assets.
You should also spend some time thinking about who you want to inherit your life’s work. For some, this is easy. They want to split the business between all of their children, or perhaps they have one child who is interested in taking over the business and the rest simply want their shares bought out. Others have to spend time doing some soul-searching to figure out what the best path forward is.
Considering the Future of Your Business
If you’re like many other entrepreneurs, the continuity of your business is one of your top concerns as you begin planning your estate. It’s very important that you avoid assuming what your beneficiaries may want and instead engage them in direct conversation about their plans. This can be uncomfortable for some, as few people want to talk about a future without their parents—but it’s crucial to avoid misunderstandings and issues after your passing.
You may want to ask your beneficiaries about what role—if any—they would like to play in the business after you pass. If some don’t want anything to do with the family business, you can explore different options for making things fair. In some cases, one or two beneficiaries receive the business, and other heirs receive what would be their fair share in other assets.
This allows you to plan a gradual handover. When you pass, you want operations to continue as normal at your company—you want bills to continue being paid, deadlines to be met, and employees to know exactly who they should talk to about issues. By transferring ownership and power over before you pass away, you empower your beneficiaries to step into their leadership roles.
Start Your Estate Planning With Entz Burton & Associates—Call Us Today
The earlier you begin your estate plan, the more detailed you can be and the more time you have to get everything right. Let’s talk about your options. Call us at 405-773-9800 or contact us online to set up a time to talk to an estate planning attorney.
Attorney J. Michael Entz at Entz Burton & Associates is an experience lawyer in estate planning law, business formation and asset protection serving the families in Oklahoma City and Weatherford office.