According to a recent poll from Nationwide, 60 percent of small-business owners don’t have a succession plan in place. Among those without a plan, nearly half believe such a plan isn’t necessary.1
Are you among those without a plan? If so, you could be creating significant liability for yourself, your business, your employees and your family. A business succession plan helps you make a smooth transition to the next owner without disrupting business operations.
A succession plan also protects your interests. It helps you get fair value for your business and even retain some form of control or income. You can use your plan to identify the right successor and to make sure the next owner doesn’t deviate too far from your long-term vision.
Unfortunately, without a plan in place, you may be forced to sell your business to the best available buyer. That could mean accepting less than fair value or selling to someone who has plans for the business that don’t align with your interests.
You probably know a will is the most fundamental part of any estate plan, but did you know a will doesn’t have to be the only component of your plan? A will can achieve many things, including the distribution of your assets to the appropriate heirs. However, a will can’t do everything, and there may be some goals best accomplished through a range of other documents known as will substitutes.
Simply put, a will substitute is a document or tool that acts in place of a will in the estate-distribution process. A will substitute may apply to your entire estate or to specific assets. Some will substitutes are strictly estate-planning tools, while others are financial tools that can also be used for other purposes.
Do you need a will substitute as part of your estate plan? It depends on your needs and goals. However, if you want to pass assets on to your heirs quickly and at minimum expense, there’s a possibility a will substitute could be right for you.
Do you have a retirement strategy? For many people, retirement planning consists of contributing to their 401(k) plan or IRA every year. When you’re young and have many years until retirement, your strategy should focus on savings and asset accumulation.
As you get closer to retirement, however, you may want to think about more than just the dollars and cents of retirement. It’s important to save assets, but it’s also important to consider how those assets will be used when you leave the working world. That means planning your lifestyle and your activities during retirement.
Below are four questions you may want to ask yourself as you develop your retirement strategy. These questions can help you think beyond the financial aspect of retirement and focus on lifestyle, relationships and even your health. That could inform your decision-making as you approach retirement.