Passing Along a Benefit, Not a Burden

Why Incapacity Planning for Business Owners is an Indispensable Component of Your Plan

Hey fellow entrepreneurs, dreamers, hustlers, go-getters—what are you doing to protect what you’ve built?

Most business owners have their estate planning prepared because they are worried about what will happen to their business after they are dead.  However, proper estate planning has the added benefit of allowing you to make plans for what will happen if you are incapacitated or needing to be away from your business for an extended period of time.


As the owner, you are responsible for the day-to-day operations of your business. This is a full-time responsibility, especially for horse trainers. What will happen if you can’t be there all the time? A serious injury, a vacation or a medical issue could all be reasons to pull away from your business. During this time, your business needs to continue on so that you and your employees can continue to take home money, your horses can continue to be cared for and your training programs continue to thrive.


It is important to think ahead about who will be in charge of the day-to-day operations of your farm and it may be necessary to split the burdens between barn managers, assistant trainers and family depending on who knows what. A ship without a captain can be dangerous, a barn without a trainer, can be lethal. Not only do these individuals need to understand the business, he or she needs to have the respect of your employees, your horses and be confident in making tough decisions in your absence.


If you have family members working in your business it is also important to explain to them what will happen in your absence, who will be in responsible for billing, horse care, show planning, facility maintenance and payroll so that someone does not assume they are in charge just because they are family. As always, don’t assume your family is the best choice to run the show just because you love them, you are in a unique profession where your four-legged clients are the first priority, make estate planning choices that protect the best interests of the horses so your clients feel secure and liability is avoided.  


Thinking ahead is the best way to avoid chaos in the event you are no longer able to take care of your business. Contact an estate planning attorney today to ensure you are properly prepared in the event something happens to you that takes you out of the game temporarily.