Planning for the Fall and beyond

August – what a great month. The weather is warm, the nights come a bit earlier than in July, so campfires start sooner and of course all the back to school ads rev up.

From a business perspective, August is a good month to take a look at the upcoming last quarter of the year and plan accordingly. At our firm that means planning our upcoming schedule of free Lunch & Learns for our clients, scheduling motions, trials and cross-examinations so they don’t all collide with the “November Sittings” in the Milton Courthouse.

Jumping beyond Fall and even the next year – what is your business doing about planning for the future?

If you are a sole proprietor, what is your “exit strategy” for retirement? Even if you’re a young business person, you need to plan your exit, failing to plan is planning to fail.

Regardless of age, what is your plan for your business, or your ownership stake in the business you are shareholder in, when you die? Failing to plan for your death (but to be clear, you do not actually die as soon as you sign a Will, yes, we’ve had clients come into the firm believing you do) is planning to leave your loved ones mad at you as they wade through a myriad of complicated issues they never expected to have to address, rather than mourn your passing.

Without a Will, your Estate likely will cost more in fees to finalize, thereby leaving less money to your loved ones – you don’t want to do that. If you own a business you likely should have two Wills – one for your Corporate Assets and one for your other Assets – this reduces the Estate Fees significantly when you pass away. This also allows you to select an Executor for the Corporate Will who understands the business and is able to carry out your instructions with confidence.

Moving away from the “end of life” theme – August is a good time to review your Employee Handbook to ensure it is up to date with all Government required policies. If the Handbook is not up to date, it is also a good time to plan the implementation of the policies and create a legal budget to get your company compliant before the end of the year.

Take some time this last month of the summer (yes I know it technically ends in September) and enjoy planning for the future. If the answer isn’t in the stars, gazing up at the starry nights around a campfire certainly helps clear your mind to find the answers.

Inga B. Andriessen JD