A Social Entrepreneur’s Guide to Estate Planning

Our socially and environmentally minded clients are some of the most gifted and hard working entrepreneurs that we’ve had the pleasure to work with. However, although many of them are sharp when it comes to matters of business, they often loose sight of their personal well-being and what will happen to their business 50 or 60 years from now.

Having a comprehensive estate plan in place can remedy this problem. Estate planning is one of those realities that we often think we can put off but in the long run can help us with so many different aspects of business and personal wealth management.

1. Having an Estate Plan Can Ensure Your Company Maintains Its Mission.
One of the greatest fears of social entrepreneurs is that loss of company control that could lead to a denigration of its mission and purpose. An estate plan can safeguard this interest by assisting with transfer of your ownership interest in your company. You can choose to keep it in the family or alternatively, make sure it is not transferred to a family member. Your majority ownership interest in your company represents a very important asset, especially if you’ve taken special care to invest more than money into your company.

2. Having an Estate Plan Forces You to Examine Your Financials & Future Projections.
Number crunching isn’t something you necessarily have time for as owner of your company. But drafting an estate plan forces you to examine your company’s financials, risks and future projections. We are always surprised to see how much a client learns about their own company and personal financial wealth when they start the estate planning process.

3. Having an Estate Plan Gives You Different Options for Asset Transfers.
The estate planning process includes utilizing important tools to make sure your assets are distributed accordingly. If you do not have an estate plan in place, all your assets will go through something called intestate, which involves probate court (a very messy process). The most common tool we use in estate planning is a trust. A trust holds all or some of your assets for the benefit of your beneficiaries administered by a person called a trustee.

4. Having an Estate Plan is One More Thing to Check Off Your Checklist.
The most common reason our social entrepreneurs do not have an estate plan is because they just haven’t gotten around to it … but it’s on their to do list. We get it; between the business management aspect, volunteer work and customers, it’s easy to loose sight of one’s personal life. We totally understand the feeling of having a never ending to do list but taking a couple hours to finalize an estate plan with your attorney will give you peace of mind of having it done.

These are just some of the common benefits of starting your estate plan! If you have any questions or are ready to take the first steps toward creating your estate plan, reach out to the attorneys at Sustainable Law Group by calling (310) 883-7923 or emailing us at info@sustainable-lawyer.com.

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