Delaware residents who own businesses often go through great pains to make them a success. Failing to account for what will happen after death could undermine their hard work and potentially mean the end of the business. Every business owner should account for the estate planning issues that accompany such ownership.

For example, dying without a will makes all of an individual’s assets subject to Delaware’s intestacy laws, which more than likely will not reflect the wishes of the decedent. The business could end up in the hands of a relative that the owner never intended to be involved in it. Things get even more complicated if there is more than one owner of the business.

A death can cause significant disruption of the business, but with proper planning by each individual owner of the business, any complications can be identified and accounted for through documentation by the company and the individuals involved. Addressing the issues from both sides can help safeguard the business so that it may continue to thrive even after the death of an owner. This often requires the use of several different types of estate-planning documents in addition to a will.

What documents will meet an individual’s goals and wishes depend on the circumstances. Considering the fact that the future of the business is at stake, it would be beneficial to discuss the matter with an estate planning attorney. There are often many ways that estate planning can be done, and all options should be explored before making any final decisions.

Source: CBS Boston, “Plan For The Inevitable: Business Owners Need to Know Estate Planning“, Lisa Weinstein Burns, Sept. 20, 2016