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Estate planning as an entrepreneur

A survey of hundreds of entrepreneurs found that many were poorly prepared in terms of estate planning. Only about a quarter had a will while 80 percent lacked a financial power of attorney. Fewer than 15 percent had a living trust and nearly two-thirds had no documents at all. Nevada entrepreneurs can help protect their businesses and families with these types of documents.

A will outlines what a person wants done with assets and names an executor to carry out those wishes. Because of the responsibility associated with these duties, the executor should be chosen carefully. However, all assets passed on using a will must first go through a time-consuming probate process. Property that is placed in a trust does not go through probate. Instead, it is managed by a trustee, and for some, this may be a better solution.

A financial power of attorney takes effect if a person is incapacitated. This gives an appointee the legal right to act as the agent of the incapacitated person to deal with issues such as taxes, business operations and even litigation.

The entrepreneur may want to talk to family members and, in some cases, business partners about aspects of the estate plan. This can help ensure that the entrepreneur's intentions are not misunderstood. The entrepreneur can also explain the reasoning behind some of the estate planning decisions. It is important to review and update the estate plan regularly as the needs of the business, the entrepreneur's assets, and the entrepreneur's family situation changes. There may also be changes in tax or business law that necessitate a change. An attorney can often assist in creating and later updating an estate plan based on the entrepreneur's changing goals.

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