Passing Along a Benefit, Not a Burden: Why Incapacity Planning for Business Owners is an Indispensable Component of Your Plan

Nov 6, 2018 | Business Law, Estates Planning and Asset Protection

Most business owners have their estate planning prepared because they are worried about what will happen to their business after they are dead.  However, proper estate planning has the added benefit of allowing you to make plans for what will happen if you are incapacitated or needing to be away from your business for an extended period of time.

As the owner, you are responsible for the day-to-day operations of your business.  This is a full-time responsibility.  But what will happen if you can’t be there all the time?  You don’t necessarily have to be in a coma to be unable to participate in your business.  You could be on an extended vacation or have a medical diagnosis that requires you to take several months away for treatment or recovery.  During this time, your business needs to continue on so that you and your employees can continue to take home money.

It is important to think ahead about who will be in charge of the day-to-day operations because a ship without a captain can be dangerous.  Not only does this individual need to understand the business, he or she needs to have the respect of your employees and be confident in making tough decisions in your absence.  Without this planning, everyone could jump to the conclusion that he or she is in charge, or alternatively, no one will step up, resulting in chaos either way.

If you have family members working in your business, it is also important to explain to them what will happen in your absence and who will be in charge so that someone does not assume they are in charge just because they are family.  Importantly, remember that just because your family is involved with your business does not mean that he or she is the best choice to succeed you.

Develop a plan to keep your business running while you are away.  From choosing the right individual to putting processes in place for your incapacity, your team of professionals can help.

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