No question that the Covid-19 pandemic has created enormous amounts of fear and uncertainty, not only in Texas but throughout the World. In these unprecedented and uncertain times, it is imperative that every person has a comprehensive and up to date estate plan in place. When people think of estate planning, they usually only think of their personal life and assets. However, a business owner must also account for their business because it is an asset and quite possibly one of their most valuable assets. As such, estate planning for one’s business— also known as business succession planning—is just as important as estate planning for one’s personal life and something every business owner should do.

The purpose of estate planning is to decide who will control and make decisions for you and your estate and who will receive the assets in your estate in the event of your incapacity, disability or death. Given that a business is similar to any other asset, the purpose of business succession planning is to decide who will control and make decisions for your business and who will own your business in the event of your retirement, incapacity, disability or death. A majority of the most common estate planning tools and documents can be used for both estate planning and basic business succession planning for many business owners. With these tools and documents, you can create one comprehensive and cohesive plan to address both personal and business matters.

Whatever your wishes, it is important that you are the one that develops the estate and business succession plan. Ultimately, you are the best person and are in the best position to make these decisions and to plan for your future and the future of your business. Leaving your family members and business stakeholders without an estate or business succession plan and these decisions up to them may do more harm than good, both to your family and your business.

Often, people, especially business owners, are caught up in day to day life and do not think about planning for the future. Many people only begin to think about creating an estate plan and business succession plan in response to some significant life event that draws into focus what is important in life. The Covid-19 pandemic is a good example of such an event and may be the right time to plan for your future. Careful estate and business succession planning now can offer peace of mind and security for you and your family when things return to normal and well into the future.