Sarah Stewart Legal Group, PLLC

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Month: April 2017

Making a Plan for Leaving Your Business

By Sarah Stewart Legal Group

Entrepreneurs spend all day every day working in and thinking about their businesses.  More often than not, entrepreneurs, and especially small business owners are the human resources, customer service, IT, and every other department of their businesses.  So, understandably, it can be difficult to plan for the time you may need to leave your business.

Leaving a business is inevitable, whether it be through a buy-out, incapacity, or death, all business owners will eventually give up their businesses.  So, there’s no better time than now to plan for your exit.  Today, we address the items you need to consider to plan your exit.

(1) Succession Planning

Every business needs a succession plan. When making a succession plan, you need to consider the following:

  • Who is your Successor?

You want to review every employee and decide who has the skills necessary to take your place. You may want to speak to your Board of Directors or other professionals to help you. Experts suggest choosing your Successor at least 15 years before you plan to retire so you can properly train and groom them.

  • How will you train your Successor?

First, you need to know what makes your company work.  What departments are the most important?  What functions are crucial?  Once you know, you will want to train your Successor in these areas.

  • How long will the transition take?

You need to make a timetable.  Decide how and when to shift control of your company.  The timetable helps keep your Successor on track in training and helps managers and employees know what roles you and your Successor will handle every day.

  • Are you prepared to retire?

Make a retirement plan.  What do you want to do when you retire?  Then, initiate those plans by saving the right way and the right amount.

(2) Disability and Incapacity Planning

You may not always be able to choose when you leave your business.  Life happens to all of us. Be sure you have enough insurance to cover you and your business if something happens to you. Disability and life insurance can protect you, your family, and your business from your worst case scenarios.

Though it can be difficult to think about, planning properly for leaving your business is important. Your plans affect your family, your employees, business structure, and taxes. Always reach out to professionals to reach your planning goals for your family and business.

3 Important Rights of Incapacitated Adults (Wards) in a Guardianship

By Sarah Stewart Legal Group

Those who have suffered the an injury or illness that leaves a loved one unable to care for his or herself know how difficult of a time it can be.  There are countless, thankless, nights of caregiving and a long list of things to be done for the loved one that never seems to end.  Taking on the responsibility of being a Guardian of a loved one who is incapacitated is a great task. There are many responsibilities, and many requirements of which caregivers are often unaware.

If you have a Limited Guardianship, you can only restrict the actions of the Ward in the ways the Court has specifically ordered.  So, you must review the Court’s order to know what rights the Ward has.

With a General Guardianship, there is more to worry about.

If you find yourself in the position of becoming Guardian of a loved one who cannot care for his or herself anymore, here are the 3 most important rights a Ward (incapacitated person) retains that you need to know about:

(1) To Participate As Much As Possible in Decision-making

This is the sweeping, overall purpose of the Guardianship statutes.  The legislature intended that all Wards be able to participate in making decisions that affect them as much as the Wards are able.  So, Guardians are encouraged to speak with the Wards and attempt to come to an agreement on decisions such as where to live, what to do with the Ward’s money, and who will provide medical care.  Of course, this is not always possible, but if the Ward is alert and can speak and communicate, the Guardian is expected to communicate with them.

(2) To Have Visitation (Or Not) with Whom They Please

Unless the Guardian can prove potential harm in Court, and get an Order from the Court denying visitation, a Guardian cannot stop a Ward from visiting with others.  Maybe you don’t like Uncle Joe and he stirs Mom up every time he visits, but you can’t stop him from visiting her just because you don’t like him or his actions.  You must have a good enough reason to get a Court order to deny visitation.

On the other hand, a Guardian also cannot force a Ward to visit those the Ward does not want to see.

(3) To Live in the Least Restrictive, Most Normal Setting Possible

A Ward who can care for his or herself, afford home care, and wants to stay at home, should be able to do so.  The law requires Guardians to provide the most normal home-life possible for a Ward, based on health, safety, and financial ability.

Being a Guardian and taking on all the financial and medical responsibilities of someone who can no longer do so his or herself can be a difficult and frustrating task.  There are professionals and support groups available to help.  Please be sure, if you are in this position, to research and reach out to those who can help you.

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