I was recently honored to be chosen by St. Louis Small Business Monthly as one of their Top Estate Planning Attorneys for 2019.  Below is the piece that I provided discussing estate planning for small business owners and a link to the publication.

Years of experience?

11 years

What are the biggest challenges facing business owners when it comes to estate planning?

Many small business owners become so involved with running their business that they overlook the need to properly plan for what will occur in the event something happens to them and they are no longer able to run their business.  In failing to prioritize proper business and estate planning as one of their job responsibilities, they put their family at risk of not benefiting from their accomplishments.

What’s the No. 1 piece of advice you would give to business owners when it comes to estate planning?

Develop an exit strategy.  Even if you think you may run that business for the next 50 years, plan for what will happen to your business if something were to happen to you right now.  Adjustments to that plan can always be made as changes happen in life and it will be far less expensive to put an exit strategy in place now than it will be to not have one at all.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve seen business owners make, and what advice would you give to solve the problem?

The biggest mistake I have seen is a business owner’s failure to plan accordingly, from beginning to end.  It starts with a proper business plan and business documentation outlining the terms of the business and planning for its growth and change over time.  From there, business owners should put a plan in place to set forth how their business will transfer upon their retirement or death, but also include planning for the business owner’s incapacity.  If a business owner were to become incapacitated and could not operate their business, who would manage their business?  How would they be paid?  Would the business still be able to operate?  Proper planning does not just plan for the beginning and end, but it plans for everything that could happen in between.

Where does your motivation to help businesses come from?   

As a husband, father and small business owner, I enjoy helping others develop a plan to provide for their loved ones.  I often tell my clients that business and estate planning is a selfless act not done to benefit you, but to make things easier for your loved ones when you are gone.  I want to be able to provide peace of mind to business owners that, through proper business and estate planning, their loved ones will be protected.