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Business owners should not neglect creating an estate plan

Strategic business planning is part of running a successful business in New Jersey. With the right planning, an individual can start a small business that grows into a large enterprise over the years. However, just like it is important to take the proper steps to ensure your business' success both while you are running it and after you leave, it is important to make sure an estate plan is in place to take care of your financial matters after a person's passing.

It is important to think about how financial affairs are to be handled if a person is incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions on his or her own behalf. A durable power of attorney is a type of document that gives another person the power to make these decisions. It is possible to limit the scope of the agent's authority to a specific task or asset if you want.

When it comes to handing down property after death, many people choose to create a will. In the will, they can list who gets what assets. Alternatively, it is possible to list that a specific person will get a certain percentage of the assets. Through a will you can also designate a guardian for your children, if they are still minors when you pass away, and a personal representative to handle the distribution of your estate. Keep in mind, however, that wills must still go through probate. In order to avoid probate, it may be wise to place assets into a trust instead, as assets in a trust will not go through probate.

It is prudent for anyone to plan for their personal future. Proper estate planning can help ensure that wishes are met both during a person's lifetime and after your death.

Source: Utah Business, "Safe and Secure: Every business owner needs an estate plan," Peter K. Smyth, May 25, 2016

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