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Business owners can't overlook having an estate plan

Business owners in Washington have a lot to think about as they run their companies. When the business is dependent on the owner to make daily decisions, it can be difficult to think about what will happen if that owner passes away.

Without having a proper plan in place, it might mean that the company dissolves. This can leave employees out of work and the family members who were depending on the business' income left without any support.

The only way that you can protect your company, employees and loved ones is to have an estate plan in place for when you pass away. There are a lot of things that you have to consider. While your exact needs will vary, these are some good starting points to consider.

Who is going to run the business?

You need to have someone who can take your place when you aren't able to run the business any longer. In order to do this, you need a succession plan. This outlines how the powers will be transferred. Ideally, you will have a chance to train the person to handle your usual duties so that it won't be as dramatic or difficult for them when they need to take over. The manner in which you convey a succession plan can change based on the type of business structure you have so be sure to learn what you need to do.

What will happen with your family?

If your company provides the bulk of support for your family, you need to make sure that they aren't going to be left with nothing if you pass away. There are many ways that you can do this, and trusts are one of the common methods. Set these up so that specific assets can support your loved ones. You can also use a life insurance policy and payable on death designations on financial accounts to get them money for support.

You should discuss the contents of the estate plan with the relevant individuals. Company managers and family members might be included in these discussions. Make sure that all documentation is handled properly so that your instructions can be known and followed when the time comes.

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