Those who own businesses in New York or elsewhere will need to account for both company and personal assets when creating their estate plans. This may be done by creating either a will or a trust. A will can include instructions as to who receives money or other property a deceased person leaves behind. By creating a living trust, an individual can appoint another person to manage his or her property per the instructions provided in the document.
Financial and medical powers of attorney can help a person manage assets while he or she is incapacitated. An advance directive can let a doctor or other medical professional know what type of treatment a person wants to receive if his or her life is likely coming to an end. Ideally, business owners will carry disability, life and key employee insurance policies.
A key person insurance policy provides liquidity for a business in the event that a successor is required to take over unexpectedly. In many cases, this type of policy is used to fund a buy/sell agreement. Business owners are encouraged to consider what would happen to their companies if they were no longer around to run them. The succession plan should address how a future owner would be groomed for his or her new role.
A legal professional may be able to teach a person more about the estate planning process. If a person already has a will, trust or other plan documents in place, legal counsel may be able to review them. Ideally, individuals will review their plan every year or two or when a major life event takes place. This may help to ensure that a business can remain in place or that other estate plan goals are met after an individual passes.