Although reports of your death may be greatly exaggerated right now, there comes a time in every entrepreneur's life when this is no longer the case. If you have not yet written a will, your business and family could be in for a bumpy transition.
"One of the biggest mistakes I see business owners make is not having a will [or doing estate planning]," says John Ventura, a lawyer in Brownville, Texas, and author of seven consumer-oriented legal books. If, for example, you want your business to continue under the ownership of the manager who worked with you for 20 years to build the company, you need to specifically provide for that in a will, says Ventura, who outlines why a will is so vital in his newest book, The Will Kit (Dearborn Financial Publishing).
The Will Kit leads readers through the basics of estate planning, including topics such as estate taxes, choosing beneficiaries and changing your will; it also includes work sheets, forms, and sample wills of famous people.
"You should do estate planning for your business [no matter the size] immediately. There are no age considerations in that regard," stresses Ventura, who notes that even if you use a book or software program to draft your will, you should consult with an estate attorney to review the final document and get suggestions.
The Will Kit is available at major bookstores or by calling (800) 621-9621.