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Why Do I Need a Will – or Business Continuation Planning?

I recently experienced a tragedy that put this issue back on the top of my list. A good friend of mine who was a successful business owner died suddenly and unexpectedly. “Ted” had assured me many times that he had done his homework and had his continuation plan in place. Everything he had was paid for, he had plenty of money in the bank, and his family situation seemed fairly straight forward.

It turned out that he had not done the basics of good planning. Within three weeks of Ted’s death, his business was locked and his employees were out of work. The court-appointed executor was making plans to sell all of Ted’s commercial real estate, home, personal belongings, vehicles, and business inventory. The resulting cash will not be distributed the way that Ted intended. This is not the outcome that Ted had wanted. A little planning and preparation could have gone a long way toward making his wishes become reality.

Here are three simple questions to evaluate your planning:

  • Has a qualified attorney prepared or up-dated your will, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, and business buy-sell plan within the last five years (or since any significant change in your situation)?
  • Have you reviewed your life insurance and the designated beneficiaries in the past five years?
  • Are the originals and copies of these documents in the hands of the people who will need them?

If your answer to any of these questions is “No” or “I’m not sure” then you should have a conversation with one of our advisors.

Please let us help you put your plan in place so Ted’s story doesn’t become your story! Contact us if we can help.