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Don't take estate planning advice from celebrities

You would think that celebrities would be more mindful of their financial status than they appear to be. So many famous people engage in no estate planning or inadequate estate planning. In either case, Pennsylvania small business owners may want to avoid emulating celebrities when it comes to sound financial planning.

Instead, it would be a good idea to create an estate plan that covers much more than just who inherits the family home. A will is a good place to start, but should probably not encompass a small business owner's entire estate plan. Other measures could be taken to help ensure the survival of the business, the passage of it to loved ones or its sale upon death.

Things such as a succession plan, life insurance and disability insurance could be a useful part of a plan. A Pennsylvania business owner may also want to make sure beneficiary designations for assets such as retirement accounts and life insurance policies are current. In addition to a will, a trust may prove useful as well. Moreover, powers of attorney could help maintain continuity of the business if the owner becomes incapacitated by an injury or illness.

Determining the best combination of documents to create the best plan possible may require some assistance. Estate planning documents may come in all shapes and sizes, but they all must also follow certain rules, comply with certain laws and contain certain language in order to be valid at the time of death. Attempting to fulfill all of these requirements without the help of an experienced attorney could result in significant problems in the future.

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