Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law
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Examining the estate planning issues that business owners face

Woodland Hills business owners may be interested in some information on the particular estate planning issues that they may face. These issues include not having a business plan at all or having an incomplete or outdated one.

According to one survey, just over 70 percent of business owners had an estate plan. The definition for "estate plan" in this case was set low; any of the surveyed individuals who had a will were included in this category. Many who have not begun their estate planning say that it is because the subject is very difficult to think about. Others feel that they do not have the need for a comprehensive estate plan. However, estate planning can be extremely important when it comes to dealing with business issues after one's death. This is because the business itself is usually one of the more valuable assets in the owner's estate.

Another serious issue with estate planning is having an outdated plan. Many of the surveyed business owners had plans that were created a half-decade before. Numerous considerations may require updating an estate plan. These include changes in the tax law, increases or decreases in the owner's wealth, or major life events, such as marriage or the birth of a child. Experts encourage business owners to periodically revisit their estate plans in order to keep them up to date with changing circumstances.

This periodic review may benefit from the guidance of an experienced estate planning attorney. The attorney may be able to help analyze the person's asset and life situations and their updated estate planning goals. The attorney may also be useful in recommending other estate planning documents, such as a living will, in order to make the planning more comprehensive.

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