There’s a four letter ‘F‘ word that could help define Birmingham’s future–but as you might expect–it’s not the one you’re probably thinking.
However, when I tell you the word, it still won’t be in the context of what you might expect.
The word is “food,’ but not our nationally recognized upscale restaurants.
A business owner’s estate plan, no matter how complex, can be implemented any time before death, so long as the testator is still legally competent ("sound minded", including that they understand the nature of making a will, the extent of his/her property, and know who would be considered the natural object of his/her bounty, etc.). Regardless, it's still a good idea to begin planning in advance, since time of need planning may not be possible.
If you are an owner of a business or a professional practice, it is even more important that your estate planning begin soon. Since it's quite likely that a significant portion of your wealth, and your family's source of income after your death, is tied up in the business. In that situation, the success of your estate plan is likely dependent on the business being transitioned to the next generation or sold to a 3rd party for a reasonable price. Both of those results may take years of planning and preparation to be successful.
More specifically, the Franchise Rule gives prospective purchasers of franchises the material information they need in order to weigh the risks and benefits of such an investment. The Rule, primarily enforced by the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") at the federal level, requires franchisors to provide all potential franchisees with a disclosure document (commonly known as the "FDD") containing 23 specific items of information about the offered franchise, its officers, and other franchisees.