Some company owners feel comfortable with the thought that their businesses are their retirement plans and their children will take over upon their deaths. Unfortunately, too many companies in Florida end up having to close their doors because proper succession planning was not done. To make sure nothing is left unaddressed, the services of estate planning lawyers, along with other professionals may be necessary.
In family-run businesses, assumptions about who will take over when the parent dies have caused many legal battles within families in Florida. Documented estate plans and family discussions about successors are essential if the survival of the business is to be achieved. Even if it is not a family concern, failure to have succession plans in place can leave loyal employees hanging in the balance upon the owner's death.
Another issue that may ruin a business, even after a successor was designated to take over after an owner's death, is when a family member who is ill-equipped to run the business is appointed as the successor. If necessary, capable non-family members can be hired to manage the business for the surviving family members. Empowering potential successors while the business owner is still alive may help to identify capable successors.
Regardless of whether it is a family business, planning ahead can provide peace of mind for all in knowing that plans are in place to see the company survive. Florida business owners may find that the support and guidance of estate planning lawyers along with other resources such as financial and tax advisors can lead to the establishment of estate plans that will protect the rights and interests of business owners and their successors. With the assistance of an integrated support team, estate plans can be put in place in a manner that will avoid probate and limit estate taxes.
Source: tulsaworld.com, "Leader 2 Leader: Business owners without succession plans often crumble", Lynn Flinn, April 20, 2017