Succession Planning Services Offered By
Business Attorney
Allen Ratcliffe

Proper business succession requires the integration of: Family Planning, Management Planning and Ownership Planning:

Family Planning

Family planning begins with estate and retirement planning and defining the family’s role in the business, but may include: incentive provisions for children; asset protection; protection against divorce; enhancing and promoting family interaction; designing and implementing investment strategies; and/or creating a family bank, venture fund, or foundation.

Management Planning

Management planning should be considered separately from ownership planning. Who should continue management? Is it advisable to create a program to attract and retain key employees? Should a training program or advisory council be implemented?

Ownership Planning

Ownership planning considers whether the business should be retained by one or more family members or transferred to third persons. If retained, decisions need to be made as to how to transfer the business (e.g. gift, inheritance, sale), how to treat non-participating children fairly, and how to pass the business on in the most tax efficient manner. If the business is not to be retained in the family the owner must determine whether to sell it outright or to sell it to partners or employees.

Please see the below charts illustrating examples of business succession services performed by various disciplines. The charts break down your world into three spheres: family, business ownership and business management, then overlays the services typically performed by each of the consultants within each sphere.

Three Spheres: Participants

Three Spheres: Legal

Three Spheres: Long-Term

Three Spheres: Financial

Three Spheres: Management

Three Spheres: Psychological

It is often helpful, when defining your objectives, to look at the three spheres in order to determine what items need addressing. This may not lead to a comprehensive plan, but it is a way for you to start thinking about the issues. It would be fortunate if you can readily determine your objectives within each sphere, and there are no conflicts between or among the objectives. Then, you can move to implementation of the appropriate technique which will address each objective utilizing the appropriate consultant.

Too often the business owner buys a solution in the hope that the solution will fit their problem without achieving clarity about what the problem really is or the understanding of the interrelationship of the issues. Hopefully, these charts will assist you to in defining your needs and enable you to maintain control over the outcome.

Frequently, the issues are entangled and objectives muddled. We are uniquely qualified to facilitate the process of uncovering your specific objectives and piecing together the puzzle, as well as the ability to respond to the legal.

Succession Planning Services



Integrating Estate and Business Planning

Succession Planning Services