Thursday, August 6, 2009

Business Owners - Got Trust?

Business owners often don't spend all of time considering succession planning or the importance of having an estate plan. I have been working a lot with a premier estate planning attorney in Southern California. Her name is Shadi A'lai Shaffer. After talking to her about my own Estate Plan, I realized that I was doing my clients a disservice if I did not discuss estate planning with them. The following is a post Shadi recently posted on her blog. If you are a business owner you need an estate plan. If you are a lawyer who advises business owners, you need to have this discussion with your clients. GOT TRUST?

Business owners, partners, sole proprietors (and yes, you folks who "partner up" with others to buy properties)

Ok, so I get it. I am an Estate Planing Attorney. Of course I am going to tell you how important it is to have a COMPLETE AND UP TO DATE PLAN but really folks we are in CALIFORNIA, do you have any clue what torture you are putting yourself, your family, your partners and business in (when you don't Got Trust?).

It's not a matter of IF but WHEN.
You will experience excruciating pain and frustration if death happens but you will feel this even more so if you don't die but just become disabled or incapacitated (if unable to make decisions).
If you do not have an estate plan you are basically doing two things:
1) allowing Conservatorship to occur; and
2) allowing a Probate to occur
Both of which are time consuming and costly. As if that wasn't bad enough, you have now opened your business up to the court system and are at their mercy! Good luck with that man! you have now lost control and the ability to continue your business freely. You may now have to report every item to the courts AND you may not be able to buy, sell, transfer, or do some very basic or normal tasks related to your business.

Business owners work so hard and many do create a decent legal foundation for their business however if you do not have estate documents such as a trust, a will, power of attorney for finances, etc... you are truly harming your business in ways you can only understand once it is too late!!!!

I urge business owners to take the time to meet with an estate planning attorney for a consult to learn how an estate plan will protect you and help in the continued success of your business. What is the point of all your hard work if you do not dot all your "i's" and "t's"? Don't want to be "married" to the California court system or to your partner's spouse? Get your butt in gear and GET TRUST. Now is the time to take control of your business and your life. Tomorrow just may be too late.

As you can see, Shadi is very passionate about her work. If you have any questions about any of the above, please contact Shadi A'lai Shaffer at or 714-966-2646


Post a Comment