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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Swan

Does Your Business Have a Guardian?

We talk a lot about naming a legal guardian for minor children, so someone you trust can take care of your children if you cannot.

But what about your business? When you've invested a great deal of time, money, and energy into something like a business, you want to be sure it's in good hands even if you can't be there. Do you know who would care for your small business if you could not?

As an estate planning attorney, I know all the stories about business owners who experience an emergency, an unexpected illness, or another unforeseen leave of absence. Without the right documents, the business grinds to a halt.

A small business owner often takes on many roles and has many responsibilities. Without this key member of the team, employee checks can't get signed, bills can't get paid. The person or people who will take over need a court order to handle these affairs, and getting that order takes time and costs money.

So, how do you protect your small business, so it can continue even if something happens to you?

Create a Business Power of Attorney as part of your estate plan: This powerful document will allow someone you trust to act in your place. Work with an experienced attorney to ensure it gives exactly the right powers to the right people.

Create a Substitution Plan Agreement: This ensures clients are served and revenue continues even in a time of the owner's absence.

Get Business Interruption Insurance: This insurance will protect your business from lost revenues.

Update Your Life Insurance: If it's been a while since you thought about your life insurance policy, check your beneficiary designations. If you've added children to your family, consider an increase in the policy amount.

Protect Yourself with Disability Insurance: This should be a given from employers and employees alike, but if you don't have it, now is the time.

Set Procedures with a Buy-Sell Agreement: This agreement outlines the valuation and purchase of your business if you or your beneficiaries must sell it.

These are just a few pieces of the Business Succession toolkit that we provide at Swan Law. We know how to help you plan for your business just like you plan for the other important areas of your life.

Get started! Make a one-hour consultation with Catherine Swan to discuss your business plans for the future.

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