by Matt Alderton | August 09, 2017
If you own your own business, there are typically only two ways to exit it: Either you sell the business or you shut it down. A third option, however, is one you'd probably not think about: You die unexpectedly and leave your business behind.

If that happens, it's important to have a plan for dealing with it, according to TIME magazine contributor Kerri Anne Renzulli.

"If you pass away without a plan in place, you'll leave heirs without clears instructions, potentially jeopardizing the business you've worked so hard to build," Renzulli says.

The solution, according to Renzulli, is an estate plan, including not only a will, but also a succession plan. "You need a clear plan for what should happen to the businesses when you die," she continues. "If you want to pass on the business, you need to begin delegating and preparing a successor. Be certain first that this person wants the role. If you'd prefer that the business be sold, help your heirs by doing research ahead of time that will make selling easy and inexpensive. Plus, your family won't need to worry about whether they got a fair price for the businesses."

Creating a document that outlines your wishes for the business will help your heirs considerably. "You should clearly lay out important information about what the business owns and owes, and include a detailed list of accounts and passwords," Renzulli concludes. "In addition to your family … [involve] professional advisers (like your financial planner or lawyer) as well as key employees and managers."

More Tips:

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.