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.
So, you’ve worked hard to build your business, protected your personal assets within the corporate veil of an Alabama LLC, and executed the “big three” estate planning documents (Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Advanced Healthcare Directive) to plan for your death. That’s great, those are some really good steps toward securing your legacy.
But what happens to that LLC when you die? A 2014 case involving an Alabama LLC, the case of L.B. Whitfield, III Family LLC v. Virginia Ann Whitfield, et al., is instructive, but may provide some unsettling news.