Most people are generally aware of the importance of getting an estate plan in place. Regardless of who you are, you can benefit from an estate plan, whether it be a simple or complex one. For family business owners, of course, having an estate plan is particularly important to ensure the success of the business. And, in fact, most family business owners do have estate plans.
A bigger issue for family business owners, perhaps, is keeping their estate plans up to date. What many people don’t realize, or don’t sufficiently consider, after establishing an estate plan is that their plan is essentially a snapshot of their financial situation and goals at one point in time. Keeping an estate plan up to date is important in order to ensure that the plan takes into account changes in the law, changes in personal and/or family circumstances, changes in one’s business and the economy, and perhaps changes in one’s goals.
Although there is no set frequency with which an estate plan should be updated, many business owners are in the habit of doing an annual review to ensure everything is in order and that they are happy with the direction they are going with the plan.
In doing an annual review, it is advised that business owners work with an experienced estate planning attorney to go over their plan and determine whether any changes need to be made, and if so, the best way to make them. Doing so ensures that their plan will effectively achieve their goals, especially when it comes to the success of their family business.