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More than 60 percent of business owners' estate plans are old

According to one survey, business owners are more likely to have outdated estate plans than updated ones. For many business owners in Delaware, estate plan revision could be a reliable way to reap the most benefits.

Out of the 513 business owners who were surveyed, more than 70 percent said that they at least have a will. About 12 percent of these estate plans are younger than two years old, while nearly 25 percent are between two and five years old. This means that more than 60 percent of the remaining estate plans are older than five years. According to some experts, estate plans this old are not likely to take full advantage of opportunities because of tax law changes.

Making it even more likely that these business owners' estate plans are outdated, almost 70 percent said that they have experienced life-changing events since they created the plans. These events include everything from new children and grandchildren to divorces. Additionally, more than half of business owners with estate plans say that they have become wealthier since creating them. The fewer than 30 percent of business owners who said they do not have estate plans believe that there is no need for them. However, about half of these individuals avoid estate planning because it is difficult to cope with.

While basic estate planning that involves traditional life insurance and credit-shelter trusts is not too complicated, advanced planning that requires strategies such as remainder purchase marital trusts and self-canceling installment notes is more difficult to navigate. It might be just as confusing for business owners to determine the type of estate planning strategies that best fit their circumstances. These individuals might get assistance from a lawyer.

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