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Estate Planning And Business Law In Napa Valley And Beyond

6 tips for transferring your business to the next generation

Owning a small business is an emotional experience. The blood, sweat and tears you put into keeping your company afloat over an entire career create a bond that can make letting go difficult. If you are looking to pass on the business to the next generation, there are added emotions: Is my child ready to run this on their own? Have I properly prepared them for ownership?

Below are six tips you can use to get started and work toward a smooth, successful transfer of ownership.

A brief overview on the duties of a trustee

Being named the trustee of a loved one’s estate is an enormous responsibility and an incredible honor. When asked, you were happy to oblige, agreeing to follow their wishes without hesitation. You signed on the dotted line and felt a sense of pride, because you knew they were leaving their estate in capable hands.

Fast forward to now. Your loved one has passed away and suddenly you’re feeling extremely grief-stricken and overwhelmed. You might be questioning their decision to name you as trustee or doubting your abilities to get through this in one piece. What once seemed like a well-laid plan now seems impossible. Where do you even begin?

The importance of long-term care as part of your estate plan

Many people, when they hear the term "estate plan," think of a will or a trust designed to pass assets down to your loved ones after you're gone. This is indeed a vital part of what estate planning does, but modern-day estate plans are much more comprehensive than "I leave my record collection to my son and my furniture to my daughter" instructions of the past.

There are key parts of today's comprehensive estate plans that might have not been considered previously. Most people now have plans to not only cover their assets, but also their care while in their later years. For example, health care directives and powers of attorney are now vital for most people as a way to ensure that your wishes are followed with regards to necessary medical treatment, resuscitation/end-of-life care and finances when you are no longer able to make important decisions on your own.

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