Just as individuals must plan for the future and employ estate planning strategies to protect their families and their assets, so must family businesses plan for the time when the founder or partners are no longer on the scene to guide the business. Our firm helps business clients spell out their plans for the future of the business. Whether your business is brand new or has been established for many years, it is important to take positive steps to ensure that the right people will operate your business and do it in a way that you approve.
As estate planning attorneys, we know that business clients have put much of themselves into their companies. They know, too, that it is difficult to think about how the business may operate once they are gone. Clients of our firm can be assured that we will handle these matters with sensitivity and care. Our clients’ goals are the firm’s goals. We seek to position our clients’ businesses so that they will survive the death of the founders, if that is what they want.
Business succession planning allows a business owner to dictate how the transition from one owner or manager to the next will occur. There are different ways to accomplish this. Some clients know that their children are not interested in taking over a closely held family business and that a long-term employee might be a better choice. Others are not sure. A solid business succession plan allows for uncertainty, providing alternatives if the favored scenario cannot be implemented.
Although each situation is different, some techniques that we frequently use include:
- Restructuring of capital
- Buy-sell agreements
- Tax Planning
- Stock restrictions
- Family limited partnerships
- Coordinating the purchase of key-man life insurance