When running an Illinois company, it is easy to prioritize business matters over estate planning. However, along with focusing on meeting payroll and achieving quarterly goals, business owners would be wise to take time to protect their assets by creating detailed estate plans that include both wills and trusts. Here is a rundown on why wills alone may not be helpful long term for business owners.
Limitations of wills alone for business owners
For business owners, the challenge with creating wills instead of trusts is that when these company owners die, all assets that are passed through their wills must go through probate first. During the probate process, courts oversee the administration of the wills to ensure that assets are distributed per the deceased business owners’ wishes. However, this process may take several months or years and can be expensive, therefore depleting company coffers. On top of this, the process is public, so the deceased individuals’ business affairs may be left open to competitors.
With trusts, on the other hand, the deceased business owners’ assets do not have to pass through probate. Instead, the assets are instantly transferred to their designed beneficiaries. This also enables control of their companies to be more smoothly transferred from them to the appropriate individuals without the expense and time tied to probate.
How an attorney can help
Estate planning can seem overwhelming, especially for business owners with high-value assets. However, an attorney in Illinois can help company owners to create well-thought-out trusts and other estate planning documents that will best protect the future interests of their loved ones and their business. With the right estate plan, it is possible to ensure that one’s assets end up in the appropriate hands — and in a timely manner when the time comes.