Top 5 Reasons Business Owners Don't Have a Succession Plan - Or- What to do with Winterfell?

If only Aegon the Conqueror had found a good Estate Planner and Financial Advisor. We definitely wouldn’t be talking about the fate of Winterfell and doing a body count of potential – now former contestants for the role of ruler of the Iron Throne.

Succession planning can be a difficult business. But why? It always amazes me that people like the Murdochs of Fox News or heroes of legend as in Game of Thrones – I mean really smart/successful people – can miss this tiny detail and not create a good plan for the continuation or dissolution of their business or kingdom when they are ready for retirement or no longer able to continue as head of the shop.

The short answer is that good, well thought out succession planning is complex. It is a daunting job involving a lot of time that you don’t really have to spare. But it is a critical part of protecting your business legacy and exit strategy.

Here are the top reasons that business owners don’t have a succession plan.

1. No Time – Day to day activities leave you with no time to think about the future. But waiting too long can leave you open for a less beneficial outcome.

2. Not Interested in Retirement – Hanging on because you are afraid that you will be bored in retirement may well be a legitimate reason. But a successful succession strategy takes time and suits your needs and wishes. It doesn’t have to mean that you are out of the business.

3. Tax issues are too complex to deal with – This is where good team strategy comes into play. A good financial advisor and estate planning attorney can break down these issues and make solid recommendations that suit your needs and desires.

4. No one to take over the business – Deciding which family member should take over the business really can begin to feel like the intrigue of “Game of Thrones”. Look how well that turned out! Even if you are not considering involving family members, major decisions on leadership and ownership still need to be made. But the fact of the matter is that if you don’t explore your options, you leave it all to chance. Your lifetime investment of money and sweat equity could be over in a flash.

5. I don’t have enough retirement saving to bow out – I get it. You have poured so much of your profits and energies back into the company or on day to day living or paying tuition or taking care of aging relatives that you don’t feel like you have anything left to pass on. But by planning ahead, you might be able to ease the burden taking care of your retirement and your heirs.

“It is never too late to plan – but it may be too late if you don’t plan.” ~ Yoda (I think)

On May 23rd, Office Hours Kennett will be welcoming an Estate and Business Planning team from MacElree Harvey LLC. They will be breaking down many of the complex issues facing business owners that keep us from addressing the next phase of our business legacy.

They will walk us through:

· Estate Planning Strategies

· Types of Ownership

· How Estates are Taxed

· Wills and Trusts

· Creditor Protections

If you were lucky enough to attend April’s Office Hours Kennett on “Succession Planning – Financial Perspective” given by Josh Shaver of Diamond State Financial, you now know that there are totally accessible ways to plan for your business’s future. If you missed this talk or would like to revisit the presentation, you can find it on our web site under Past Presentations.

Our May 23rd presentation held at The Creamery on Succession Planning – Legal Perspective breaks down the Legal protections that must or should be in place for a successful transition. At the minimum, this session will help you round out your plan to protect your business and business legacy. Even the smallest businesses need a strategy for the next phase.

Don’t leave things to chance…..

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