If you own a business and haven’t made proper arrangements, you are leaving your employees, customers, business associates, and family vulnerable.
For instance, what if something happened to you? What if you were 1) disabled and unable to perform your duties; or 2) deceased?
Whether you have a family business, a sole proprietorship with employees, have a partner, or are a one-person show, you are going to need to have a couple things in place to be certain that things can proceed without you.
- Make sure that at least one other person has the knowledge to continue without you. This doesn’t mean that they have to know how to personally do every task, but they do need to have an idea of how to get it done.
- Make sure that at least one other person has the legal authority to continue without you. You need to have a Power of Attorney in place that allows your chosen agent to administer the business if you become unable to do so. You also need to have a valid Will & Testament in case you are deceased. In it you need to name an Executor so that someone can get legal authority to make sure that your business continues or is properly sold or transferred. (Some businesses may already have documents in place that specify with buy-out or transfer in the event of death of a partner or owner. In these cases the Executor will make sure this process happens).
- When a business person dies without a will the situation is much more complicated as a legal matter and a practical matter.