Ohio business owners should have certain documents on hand in the event certain decisions regarding their company have to be made in the future. These documents, which can include a living trust, a financial power of attorney and a last will and testament, will help protect the business in which the owners have invested time and money.
According to a survey of over 500 entrepreneurs, 80 percent had not completed a financial power of attorney. Only 24 percent had drafted a last will and testament, and a mere 13 percent had established a living trust. Sixty-five percent of the entrepreneurs had no legal documents in place in case they were unable to operate their business.
Entrepreneurs should consider what would happen if they are unexpectedly incapacitated or die suddenly. Insurance policies are helpful with medical emergencies, but estate planning documents are needed to prepare the business for dire circumstances.A financial power of attorney transfers financial authority to another person. Entrepreneurs can designate an agent who will manage their financial affairs, such as insurance, tax issues, business operations and tax issues, if they are sidelined for a few months due to surgery or are out of commission for some other reason. A living trust allows assets intended for beneficiaries to bypass the probate system. The assets are placed in a trust and will be under the supervision of the trustee who will see to it that the assets are distributed according the provisions of the agreement.
Business owners might want to consult with an attorney to determine which type of estate planning tools are appropriate for their objectives. The attorney may consider how clients want to have their assets distributed to their heirs and may advise them of various ways in which this can be accomplished.