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Avoid the 3 Common Excuses for avoiding Estate and Succession Planning.

Most family businesses are extremely unprepared for the existing owner to depart, especially if it’s unexpected, as is the case with an unforeseen illness, injury, or death. We know this all too well when we turn on the news and another billionaire or musician has died leaving no will, no trust, no guidance on what they would like to happen with their estate. Unfortunately, the business that many have worked for and made a success may actually fail and cease to exist if you became ill or passed away simply for lack of planning. If you fail to put in place an effective estate plan, including a comprehensive business succession plan, to ensure your company will survive no matter what happens to you, it will be in great danger of also dying.

Don't keep putting it off. It's important to get something in place. Here are 3 of the most common excuses for failing to put a plan in place. Do any of these sound familiar to you? 1. There’s never enough time to get it done.

I understand your plight in making enough time for all the things that have to get done. However, estate planning is much like making doctor appointments to ensure you prevent major illnesses. Calendaring in a few days per month to tackle all of the issues you'd like to be addressed in your estate plan could be the difference in keeping your legacy alive or not.

You must treat estate planning like any other critical business project and invest sufficient time, money, and energy to get it done right. After all, what project is more important than the future success of your business, family, and most of all - your LEGACY?

2. My family and/or employees don’t take it seriously enough.

I can surely tell you that a train wreck will most surely happen if you became seriously ill or deceased if you do not get a plan in place. It's paramount that you start to build a team to help you navigate your estate and business succession plan. Create a draft and present it to the team. This is a good first step and indicator as to who will likely take this seriously and who will not. You can make changes as you go, but simply do not continue to operate without anything.

It's going to be very important that you motivate everyone in your family and on your team who would be affected by your death or incapacity to treat planning with the respect it deserves. You will likely encounter pushback, but as with any essential mission, you must keep going to ensure that you do whatever it takes to ensure your business and family can survive and thrive if something should happen to you.

3. I don’t actually know what proper planning entails.

A lack of clear understanding about any serious undertaking frequently leads procrastination more than anything. Unfortunately, this is common reason entrepreneurs putt off estate planning. Regardless of any fear or confusion that you may exhibit about where to start must be realigned with the necessity to protect your business and family if something happened to you. Getting started is as simple as contacting an experienced family business lawyer like us to give you a jump start. We can guide and support you to create a comprehensive estate plan to ensure the company and wealth you’ve worked so hard to build will last for generations to come. In particular, this includes putting in place a long-term business succession plan that not only names your successor, but also provides a detailed road-map for him or her to follow when you’re no longer around to offer your wisdom and advice.

No more excuses

If you’re like many others who use these three main excuses for putting off your estate and succession planning, it’s time to get real. Such planning is every bit—if not far more—as essential to your company (and family’s) continued survival and success as any other business issue you can face. So if you’ve yet to put a comprehensive estate plan in place, consult with us as your Innovative Business Lawyer today to take care of this vital responsibility. We will also review any plans that you have in place or have as drafts. Taking either of these actions will not only help shield your company and family from unforeseen tragedy, but also give you the peace of mind needed to really take your business to the next level. Schedule an appointment today to get started.

This article is a service of SL DeBarros Law Firm, LLC, Innovative Business Lawyer. We offer a wide array of business legal services and can help you make the wisest business choices throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a Business Protection Start-Up Session or a Business Planning Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call us today to schedule.

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