Estate planning is a vital step to anyone who is leaving assets behind upon their death, but it takes on another layer of importance to someone who owns their own business. Business owners have invested years of their time and effort into building their business in Texas, and they need to ensure that their legacy lives on even after they are gone. Whether the business is owned by multiple partners or is a sole proprietorship, having a plan in place ensures that what a business owner has worked so hard to build can continue after they have passed on.

There are multiple estate planning documents that a business owner should have in place to protect the future of their business. Providing a living trust, last will and testament, and power of attorney documents can help ensure that a business is in a position to succeed in the tragic event of the owner’s death or incapacitation. This added level of protection ensures that the family and other heirs can continue to benefit from the business that an entrepreneur worked so hard to build.

It is also advised that business owners have a written succession plan in place. This succession plan provides legal protection for the business in the event of the owner’s death or temporary incapacitation. This is the document where a business owner leaves a legally binding directive about whether a business partner will take over the company, a personally selected heir comes into power, or the company is sold to a third party.

To develop a succession plan, business owners may want to work with an attorney who is familiar with estate planning. The attorney may review the current assets of the company and help the owner make decisions that will best serve his or her heirs and the business itself.