Talking about your last will isn’t exactly the kind of topic we all want to have, but it’s there. We cannot avoid it forever. At some point in our lives, we have to think about who will take care of everything we worked hard for once we are gone. And how about if you have a business? You’ve worked hard to build that business. There were times you did not sleep for a day just to finish a report or brainstorm a promo. There have been so many sacrifices over the years before you’re able to build your business from the ground. So, how can you just leave that to anyone?
When writing a will, it’s best to have an estate planning lawyer with you. This attorney will guide you through the legality of planning your will. Do you have children but don’t want to leave your properties to them? There might be legal trouble there. Although you are the rightful owner of your properties, your children have as much right to them when you die. This means that if you plan to leave your assets to someone else, your legal children can come after it regardless of your last will and testament.
It’s the same thing with leaving a business when you die. Sure, your children might be the rightful owner of your shares, but that depends if you’re a sole proprietor or if you have business partners. That is always a consideration. You can only leave your business shares to your business, but that is not a guarantee that they will have a say in your company.
Choosing the Beneficiaries
Whoever your beneficiaries are going to be, consider their circumstances in life. Are they going to move to another city? So, how will they manage the business? What if one of them suffers an injury? Who will then take care of the business? It during your deliberation that you need to talk with your children and spouse (assuming that they are your beneficiaries). What do they plan to do in the future? Are they even interested in managing the business?
There are some amazing examples of the spouse running the business after the other one has died. But these are not the rules. It doesn’t always follow that way. Many don’t want anything that has to do with their spouse’s business after they die. You have to consider liquidating the assets when you’re planning your estate. This is fairer for your children as they can all have an equal share of the business. You can arrange to sell the business if no one wants to take care of it.
Trusting an Executor
You need someone to execute your will. This person should be someone you trust to be honest and truthful. Lawyers are the most common executors, so they won’t have a conflict of interest. Families and loved ones tend to get jealous of each other’s inheritance, so it’s best to leave your will with a trusted family lawyer. The executor will have the unenviable job of dividing your assets and explaining to each beneficiary what they’re getting from you.
If you have a business that no one wants, the executor can help transition the business to new management. Depending on the ownership of the business, you can have tenured employees protected in your will. Part of the assets of the business can go to your chosen employees while the rest will be divided among your heirs.
Letting Them Choose Instead
Have you thought about opening this topic to your family? Ask them about their opinions on your business. Let them “apply” for the position that you will most likely leave when you pass away. Although it is always awkward to talk about such sensitive things, this is an important step in ensuring the continuity of your business. After all, do you truly want to leave your business to someone who doesn’t care an inch about it? A last will and testament is, above all, a family matter. You need to discuss it as a family. You have to allow everyone to have their say about it.
You cannot take your money and business with you when you pass away. You have to learn how to trust your loved ones or beneficiaries to take care of something you’ve worked hard for all your life. While it’s always painful to think about leaving everything, including your hard-earned assets, behind, this is a reality that people, young and old, must face.