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May estate plan documents include business succession details?

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2021 | Business Law |

Some business owners may neglect to include their commercial enterprises when creating an estate plan. Without preparing for your company’s future, an emergency may result in an inexperienced individual taking over.

As reported by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, 70% of family businesses fail to survive beyond the first generation. Less than 25% of survey respondents had a transition team or documented succession plan. Approximately half of the owners surveyed admitted to not having any succession plan at all.

How succession planning helps businesses survive

By finding your successor now, you may personally train your chosen individual to manage your enterprise. Preparing a successor in advance may provide your customers and employees with greater confidence. It may show that your business can continue if you become ill or disabled.

If you die without a succession plan, your heirs may attempt to dispose of your business through a quick sale. Companies based on a previous owner’s skills, however, may not carry a high market value. An experienced successor may help maintain your position in the market until your heirs find a qualified buyer.

Succession documents to include in an estate plan

When creating your estate documents, you may include your business transition plans. If you decide to sell your business to a successor, your documents may include terms of how he or she can take ownership. When leaving a percentage of your company to heirs, they may appreciate written instructions verifying how the transfer should occur.

An estate plan may consist of several documents. It may include stock certificate transfers and business succession instructions. A will or a trust may also become part of your documentation. A successor working with you on a management transition in advance may provide a business advantage if your heirs do not intend to take over your enterprise.