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E-commerce in estate planning

Perhaps you or someone you know has started an e-commerce website to sell finished products or homemade crafts. Etsy.com is a premier website for selling arts and crafts online -- creating a virtual, global marketplace for artisans who previously spent their weekends at craft fairs and festivals. This one website alone hosts more than a million active shops, making it easy for crafters to sell their wares without having to create their own website.6 

Other e-commerce resources, such as Weebly, Squarespace, Shopify and Bigcommerce, enable regular folks to create an individual e-tail site by using an automatic Web builder. 

But what happens to small e-commerce sites -- not to mention their revenues -- when the owner passes away? Orders stop being received and fulfilled. Customers go away. Some relative discovers a monthly website hosting charge on the deceased owner's credit card statement and cancels the service. Many times, the website isn't even disabled, joining scads of abandoned businesses that create a virtual black hole in Web space.7 

Many smaller e-tail shopkeepers don't think about including their side business in their estate plan. For some, this could be a costly oversight -- especially if the revenue it generates could become a source of necessary income. 


From Andrew Rafael, Strategy Financial Planning