In its most basic form, estate planning is organizing your assets and making sure that your property goes to the people you want it to go to after you die.
But here at Esser, Bradley & Khalsa, PLLC, we take estate planning well beyond the basics.
One of the things we always want our clients to think about is succession planning.
What is Succession Planning?
Succession planning is when you make a plan for someone to take over for you (a successor) when you are no longer able to perform your responsibilities because of incapacity or death.
Succession planning is one of the most important things you can do. It can cover all the areas of your life where you would need someone to step in and take your place.
When you stop to think about it, there are a lot of areas in your life that would be affected if you died or became incapacitated.
What Areas of Your Life Need a Succession Plan?
- Business. For example, if you own a business, business succession planning is critical for the business to continue in the event of your death. Without a written plan, funding in place, and a person to act as your successor, the business you may have spent a lifetime building could fall apart without you.
- Family. Another important area where you want to choose who you want to succeed you is in your family life.
- If you have small children, you will want to be certain to have a Will and appoint someone as “guardian” of your children should you die. If you don’t, then the court will appoint someone. And it may not be someone that you want raising your children.
- Similarly, if you have people in your family who are unable to take care of themselves, or have children/adults with Special Needs, it is important that you provide for them (usually by a “Special Needs Trust”) and decide who should be responsible for making the decisions concerning their care if you should become incapacitated or die.
- Your Own Care. Finally, don’t overlook your own care. Succession planning extends to making a plan for who should take care of you if you become incapacitated. Generally, to do this you need to have certain documents in place such as a durable power of attorney, living will, or other necessary healthcare documents. These documents direct the level of medical intervention you want and who you want as the person to make all necessary medical and financial decisions for you if you become unable to make those decisions for yourself.
We know that you are irreplaceable. No one can really take your place. But it is important that you think about these things now and prepare for what may happen. The more you do now, the smoother the transition will be for your loved ones.
We Can Help You Prepare.
We are experienced trusts and estates attorneys. We know how important it is to make sure that your estate plan provides for a smooth and easy transition. We have offices in Sedona, Arizona but we serve Verde Valley and all of Arizona. We offer FREE consultations. Send us an email or call us at 928-282-1483 to schedule your FREE consultation.