Don’t wait too late to create your will
Black entrepreneurs, prioritize a will and testament early on
Approximately three-quarters of Black adults surveyed say that Black churches have played at least “some” role in assisting against the struggle for racial equality in U.S. society. The Pew Research study from 2021 confirmed that three-in-ten go as far as saying Black churches have done “a great deal” to help Black people with equality. And while younger Black adults are less religious than older generations, in the survey of more than 8,600 Black adults, 60% of the entire group go to religious services weekly or just a few times a year with predominantly Black attendees.
In a Black church (or any other church), it is next to impossible for attendees to not talk to each other about who died (be it Jesus or a senior church member). The topic of death is not a stranger to churchgoers. It’s not a stranger to those sitting on the block speculating on who died in the neighborhood. It’s not even a stranger to those scrolling by the trending topics on Twitter. It’s not a stranger to those who regularly watch the news.
More pointedly, the place where funerals are held is the most perfect location for Black people to also discuss wills — even if churchgoers just pop in for Christmas and Easter events, or to pay their respects to a friend who has “transitioned.” The problem is that the Bible and the reception food come up more than wills!
Black people are least likely (77% don’t) to not have a will. The only group beating them is Hispanics at 82%. The most common reasons for not having a will, according to Consumer Reports, is the following:
Assumption that they don’t have enough assets (25% overall)
Not sure how to create one (20%)
Want their next of kin to automatically receive everything (9%)
Think they’re too young (23%)
Just don’t want to think about death (12%)
None of these reasons will stop death from happening. At some point, everybody dies. And while every group should prioritize having a will, those who actually do have something to leave behind should be especially dutiful about it, specifically entrepreneurs.
U.S. News & World Report confirms that just over 1.2 million African Americans were self-employed in February 2022, compared to slightly under 1.1 million in February 2020. Another study from the website domain company GoDaddy guesstimated that Black people paid for 26% of all websites created for new businesses since the pandemic began, compared to 15% before.
The topic of death may not be fun, but family members, friends and spouses fighting over your belongings sucks far more.
Business is booming: What happens if/when the solopreneur (or entrepreneur) passes away?
While some business owners are so busy thinking about venture capital and startup stock purchase agreements, not enough plan for how to keep the company in business should the owner die. Who receives profits while this company is still open? How does one access the financial records of the business? What happens when an ex-spouse helped start the business but the entrepreneur married again? How do business partners factor into profits versus families?