The small business owners lament…

“I’m too busy running the company” – “That’ll never happen to me”

estate planning/business planning - your nest eggSome all too common refrains uttered by hard working business owners are: “I’m too busy running the company” and “That’ll never happen to me.” In our firm’s estate planning/business planning practice it is evident that most New Hampshire business owners have not reviewed their estate planning documents with an attorney in many years, nor have they developed a formal succession plan.

Unfortunately, these common refrains can quickly become huge mistakes and leave loved ones and employees with an expensive mess. Probate Court entanglements involving active businesses will lead to unnecessary attorney, accounting and appraisal fees. It is increasingly difficult for family members to obtain a corporate surety bond. Moreover, without a willing successor or buyer at the ready many “main street” businesses with good earnings and cash flow are being sold at fire sale prices when an owner/operator dies, becomes unexpectedly disabled or is forced to retire for health reasons.

  1. Do I have a will and is it up to date?
  2. Do I have a living will?
  3. Do I have a plan to retain key employees if something happens to me?
  4. Have I had my Trust & Estate Plan reviewed in the last three years?
  5. Are my assets protected from potential litigation?
  6. Have I identified and written down my trusted advisors?
  7. Do I have a formal business succession plan prepared and on file?
  8. Does my succession plan have a provision for disability?
  9. Have I involved key employees and family members in my succession planning?
  10. Have I identified and written down who I want to run the company?
  11. Do my family and employees know who is going to run the company?
  12. Do I have disability buy-sell or overhead expense coverage?

Helping our clients answer these questions and develop a comprehensive plan to implement them is a core part of our firm’s business planning team. If you have questions about buy-sell agreements, estate planning and business succession planning you can contact Attorney John S. Polgrean of the Trust and Estates department of Welts, White & Fontaine, P.C. at (603) 883-0797.

Author: Attorney John S. Polgrean

This blog is intended for informational use only. The information contained herein should not be construed as offering legal advice or a legal opinion. At Welts, White & Fontaine, P.C. our lawyers have experience with representing families and closely held businesses. We have balanced business plans with family and estate plans and we can help you develop strategies for a successful family owned business. Please contact Attorney John Polgrean or Thomas “Jay” Leonard if you have questions or concerns about your business.