Writing a will is probably the least thing on your “1000 things to do before I die” list, but prepare everything, including succession, even before your retirement approach is actually a desirable thing to do.
Now, this is a question for you to ponder: If you consider writing one, what will you include in your will?
Most will cover possessions, in term of assets – houses, stocks, money, etc. However, are they what you really want to cover in your will?
Entrepreneurs vs. blue/white collar workers
Being a small business owner has its own perks over the white or blue collar counterparts – You actually can leave your business “empire” on your will. Regardless how you would distribute the assets, you do leave a legacy and something that can benefit the ones who will receive the will.
As a blue collar or white collar worker, your can never be able to include your “empire” inside your will, unless you are a part-time entrepreneur or business owner.
Here are some case studies to make my point:
Case study #1: A CFO’s will
I have a relative, who performs well in the big company he worked for years. He has reached the paramount of his career: Becoming a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of the company in a relatively young age. He has a nice family home and some real estate investment properties, and up to this point, that would be the ones he will list in the will for his wife and two children.
Case study #2: An Entrepreneur’s will
I also have a relative, who own several businesses. As an entrepreneur, his career’s paramount is yet to be decided, as he told me that the sky is the limit. He has a family home and some real estate investment properties, and up to this point, he can leave his businesses to be managed by his two children, while will be able to leave non-management stakeholder position to his wife.
I don’t know how about you, but the second case study is a desirable one for me.
Your vision, as a business owner, is to provide tools for your successors to help them start right in the middle of your business – no matter as an intern or a passive owner, but not from rock bottom as an intern in an unknown company.
It’s pointless to spend 30 – 40 years of your productive life doing what you hate (or try to love) as a blue or white collar worker, and retire without the ability to pass what you’ve been working on all that time to your successors – You can’t simply pass your, e.g. CFO position, to your children in a company you work for, can you?
Sure, by the time you retire, you could start a business. Colonel Sanders did built KFC at 60 years old, didn’t he? Yes, but wouldn’t it be better to build a business that last for 40-something years from the beginning, rather than building a fragile, young-aged business to be passed to your successor, only to see it stumbling down due to inexperience staffs and owner(s) alike.
No matter whether you are a lawyer or a welder, you have to start your own business (or buy an existing one).
If you are a construction worker, you can start a construction consulting/contracting company.
If you are a CIO, you can start an IT service company.
The best thing about being an entrepreneur, you can always be one part-time, even only in weekends (job title: “Weekend Entrepreneur”). When things go well with your startups, you can simply quit your day jobs and go on your own full-force.
So, what will you left to your family and/or successors when you die?
Still forming my will
Image by tosaytheleast.