Business Succession Planning

Establishing, growing and operating a business often requires a tremendous investment of time, effort, and experience. Every business has its own intricacies and level of involvement of the business owners. Business succession planning is the use of estate planning tools, advice and strategies to increase the chances for the survival of your family business when you retire or the unexpected happens.

A few questions to help you get started…

  1. If you die unexpectedly, can your family continue to run your business?
  2. If you die unexpectedly, will your family have sufficient liquid resources to hire someone to replace you?
  3. If you die unexpectedly, and have business partners, will they pay your family a fair price for your business?
  4. Do you have a buy-sell agreement with your business partners that addresses:
    1. Death
    2. Disability
    3. Incapacity
    4. Bankruptcy
    5. Loss of professional license
    6. Failure to properly carry out the owner’s expected duties
    7. Retirement
  5. Will you have enough income when you retire?
  6. Have you considered the impact of estate taxes on your family business?
  7. Are you willing to pay the costs of protecting your business for your family?
    (estate taxes, lack of liquidity, disputes with business partners, etc.)
  8. Do you know why a family limited partnership or a limited liability company has superior asset protection characteristics than a corporation?
  9. Do you have an overall estate plan in place?
  10. Are you willing to accept the advice of professionals?

Business Succession Planning Lawyer FAQs

A “business succession plan” is a combination of business agreements and estate planning documentation to plan for the ongoing activity of your business or distribution of its assets upon your retirement, disability or death.

The deceased business owner’s interest will be transferred pursuant to applicable business corporation law and the deceased persons estate planning documentation.

Yes. An effectively drafted, executed and funded estate plan can greatly assist with creating a business succession plan.


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