Business Succession: An Important Part of Your Estate Planning

As a business owner, your responsibilities and duties may seem endless. Employment disputes, ordering supplies, paying vendors, and planning next year’s budget are just a few of the issues that fall on your shoulders. What happens to those duties if you retire or are no longer able to run your company? If you want your company to continue, then business succession planning should be an important part of your estate planning.

Take Time to Think About the Future of Your Business

If you haven’t included business succession in your estate planning, find a few minutes in your busy day to sit down, away from distractions. Think about where you want your business to be after you are no longer involved. Will it be part of the legacy you leave behind, a family-owned business for future generations to enjoy? Or do you want the company to liquidate, then add the proceeds to your estate?

Decisions Made, Time to Act

No matter your decision, careful planning is needed. The advice of an attorney experienced with estate planning and business law will help accomplish your goals.

Preemptive steps you can take:

  • Business succession planning can be tackled at any time in the life of your business, even at its inception. If you are just starting a business, talk to your attorney about incorporating succession language in your operating agreements or partnership agreements.
  • Buy disability insurance. This could provide funds needed to keep your company in operation while ownership or management sort things out.
  • Include your business in your estate planning. While discussing your personal estate plans with your lawyer, ask how to handle your company’s needs, too. In Florida, business interests can be considered part of your personal estate.

Two common types of business succession are:

  • Buy-Sell – A buy-sell agreement dictates what happens if one of the owners is disabled or dies. If your company is owned by more than one person, you probably need a buy-sell agreement.
  • Retention – This method retains the family ownership and/or management of your company. Transferring your interests to a trust may be one way to accomplish this.

The future of your business hinges on many things. Some planning on your part, with the help of a legal adviser, could keep your company humming even after your involvement has ended.

Contact a qualified Florida Estate Planning Attorney

John Mangan is an experienced Florida estate planning attorney who has been board certified in Wills, Trusts & Estates by the Florida Bar. At Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., we have developed business succession plans for business owners across the state of Florida. Call us at 772-324-9050 to set up an appointment or use our Contact Form.


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Written by John Mangan, Esq.

John Mangan, Esq.

I’m an attorney in Palm City, FL, and I serve clients throughout Martin County, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, and Indiantown, as well as those in St. Lucie County, the Treasure Coast, Palm Beach County, and other parts of Florida. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., is an innovative firm providing estate planning services to clients in Florida. We focus primarily on wills, trusts, asset protection, guardianship, and probate administration.