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Family Business Succession Planning

We periodically contact our clients to apprise them of certain issues that may impact them.  Estate planning and tax issues are most commonly addressed, but an integral part of estate planning that doesn’t receive as much attention is family business succession planning.

In today’s volatile economy where it is increasingly difficult to find a buyer for your business and for any buyer to find financing,  it is critical to review your business continuity plan to make sure it accurately reflects your current wishes and situation.  If you don’t have a buyer for your business, then what happens to your business if you retire, become incapacitated, or pass away? Who will own the business, who will manage it, and how do taxes impact the transition?

Most business owners want to pass the business to the next generation, but as stated in the March 2011 issue of  Trusts and Estates, “Unfortunately, only a little more than 30 percent of family businesses survive into the second generation, even though 80 percent would like to keep the business in the family.  By the third generation, only 12 percent of family businesses will still be viable, shrinking to 3 percent at the fourth generation and beyond.”

Many business owners are depending on the value of their businesses to fund their retirement, yet the overwhelming majority of them have no succession plan in place, and of those that do have a succession plan, it hasn’t been reviewed to see if it needs to be updated.  The business often represents a substantial portion of the estate, so the business succession plan should be coordinated with the estate plan.

If you don’t have a business succession plan that has been properly coordinated with your estate plan, or if it’s been a while since you reviewed your plan, please schedule a meeting or phone conference with Harley Look, III or any of the business attorneys in our office.  Call or send an email to paralegal, Lenona Raymond at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

If we can assist you with any other business or estate planning matters, just let us know.


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Phone Number: 303-832-1900
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