Succession Planning

Sadly, only one-third of family-owned businesses survive the transition to the second generation. And from those, only one-third again will survive to the third generation, leaving the chances of your grandchildren taking over your business at about one in ten.

Sooner or later, everyone wants to retire.  If you own a family business, there are many more considerations than just how much income you will need.  The question of what happens to the business becomes paramount.  Who will manage the business when you are no longer around?  What is the best way to transfer ownership?  How will the ownership of the business be structured? Will you be able to transition the business to the next generation, or will you just sell it? 

Business Succession Planning manages these issues and answers these challenging questions to ensure a smooth transition between you and your future business successors.  The relationships and the emotions involved can complicate the business succession process.  Business owners must come to terms with their own mortality, discussing tough topics such as aging, death, and their personal financial affairs.

Case Study

A family approached us to create a succession plan for the transition of their family business to their son in a tax-efficient manner.  Their goals were to maintain a high standard of living upon their retirement, and to provide financially for their daughter who was not involved in the family business. They were also keen to protect the business from any claims that could be made against it should their son’s marriage end in divorce.

Through our work with our network of professional advisors, we ended up freezing the value of the business in the parents’ names and issuing new shares to a family trust.  The son then became one of the beneficial owners of the shares through the trust.  A plan was hatched where mom and dad’s frozen interest in the business would be bought out over time to provide them with the retirement income they required.  In this fashion, we were able to transition the business to the son in a tax-efficient manner while making sure mom and dad were provided for financially.  

Our planning for the daughter centered on tax minimization for the estate of mom and dad and ensuring the daughter was fairly provided for in mom and dad’s estate plan.  Special attention was needed to make sure the estate of mom and dad was distributed in a way that recognized the son’s many years of work in the business, while also looking out for the needs of their daughter.

A thorough understanding of the clients’ goals and objectives allowed us to create a workable plan for this family.  All advisors involved worked together as a team, with the family at the center of their attention.