Monday, January 16, 2012

HEY BOSS! WHAT’S YOUR PLAN? By Dartesia Pitts, Esq.

We are blessed to see another New Year.  Most of us have claimed 2012 to be “our” year.  As I scroll through myFacebook newsfeed and Twitter timeline, I often see proclamations of how this year will be the best year yet!  However, my question to you is, “What is your PLAN to make this year (and beyond) greater?”

That’s right.  I said it.  YOUR PLAN.  I mean, Oprah did not go from the anchorwoman of the local news to having a billion dollar media conglomerate without having a plan.  Steve Jobs was not able to resuscitate a dying Apple to become a company with more cash on hand than the United States of America without having a plan.  I guarantee you that these two business icons createdat least two types of plans:  a business plan and an estate plan

Your plan is a personal roadmap to your success.  It will serve as a guide to your ultimate dreams and goals.

1st  #DAPLegalTip  – Have a business plan

As an attorney, I don’t write business plans.  I do, however, assist my clients with business ideas and aid in their business structure.  My most successful business clients are the ones who have a written and well thought out plan.  They include the what, when, how, who and why in their plans.  You must take the time to write down your business ideas and how you intend to bring it to life.Without it, you don’t know where you’re going, where you started or how far you’ve come.   How do you intend on raising capital if an investor can’t determine where you are going and how you intend on getting there? 

This tipapplies to those who are entrepreneurial as well as to those who are in corporate America.  Everybody should want to grow and expand his or her horizons.Nobody wants to stay in the “mailroom” forever.  We all start somewhere but where are we going in our corporate careers?  Make plans for your corporate moves now!

2nd #DAPLegalTip – Have an estate plan

We all are working in order to have the best life possible.   At the end of the day, there are situations that happen in life that we cannotcontrol.  Some occurrences can wipe out everything we have worked so hard for in the blink of an eye. This includes the death /  illness of a loved one, a major accident, or even the birth of a sick child.   Though we are unable to plan for every situation that life hands us, we can attempt to alleviate some of that unexpected stress by having the right tools in place. 

I help families plan their estates using what is afforded to them by law.  There are ways to protect your assets now.  As difficult as this discussion may seem, having an estate plan is very smart and also very uncommon in the African American community.  But I say to you, to know better is to do better. 

For example, a land trust is a tool that can protect your home and allow privacy as to its ownership.  A will or private trust is another tool that can assist in the distribution of your assets avoiding fights amongst family.  Insurance policies can provide funding for unexpected life disasters like a life changing car accident.Health Powers of Attorney designate who will serve as your agent when making major healthcare decisions if you are unable to speak on your behalf.  There are so many estate-planning mechanisms that can aid you as you create, build and maintain your legacy. 

Creating a business or an estate plan can be achieved on any budget.  On the other hand, not having either can be quite costly to you, your family, your business or career.

So, back to our proclamations….2012 will, indeed, be a great year!  I have planned for it.  Have you?  

Learn more about Dartesia A. Pitts at