Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Procrastinate Till Death

Jim Fausone, Esq.

On a Saturday night at 7pm just after I was seated at a Mexican restaurant, I took a call from a number that I did not recognize.  It was the President of a local business (“Company”), who has been a client for seven years, telling me that the owner (“Owner”) of the Company was dying.  The Owner, who I have known for probably twenty years, built the Company, which now employs about 20-30 people in an extremely technical field.

During this after-hours conversation, I learned that the highly educated Owner was in the hospital and not expected to make it through the weekend.  The President told me that the Owner had not attended to final plans like the transfer ownership of the Company, will, or estate plan for his mother or adult son and daughter.

Over the next twenty-four hours, Don Knapp and I worked on a simplified stock ownership transfer and a basic last will.  There was no time to tax plan or adopt probate or tax avoidance strategies.  Nevertheless, as the Owner remarked from his hospital bed as he signed the documents: “Something is better than nothing.”

If the Owner had died intestate (without a will), all of his assets including the Company would have transferred to his children who had no interest in or knowledge of the operations of the Company.  In other words, in the absence of an orderly transfer of the Company’s ownership, the viability of the Company would have been questionable, contracts would have been in jeopardy, 20-30 jobs could have been lost, and the Owner’s desire to ensure that his hard work endured after he passed away probably would have not been realized.  

I am glad that I took that call before the fajitas arrived and my phone was turned off so that I could help my friend and client. 

Do not procrastinate to death.  You deserve to have your life’s work and assets transferred to ensure your legacy and to protect your family.  Contact Don Knapp at 248-380-0000, ext. 3213 or dknapp@fb-firm.com to begin that process.

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