For Business Owners

Succession Planning

Succession planning is an essential part of doing business, no matter how certain your future appears. It's easy to put off planning when everything seems to be going so well, right? Wrong. Now is the time to begin succession planning. Here are some reasons why it can't and shouldn't wait:

  • You can't plan for disaster. No matter how good you and your staff are at revenue projections or economic predictions, no one can truly plan for disaster. Whether it's an unforeseen illness, a natural disaster, or a CEO's decision to suddenly retire, the reasons for having a succession plan in place before it is needed are endless. So while you can't plan for disaster, you can put into place a series of contingencies that will help your company stay afloat if, in fact, catastrophe occurs.

  • Succession planning benefits the business now. Just as business practices have evolved over the years, succession planning has also grown and changed. It's no longer a plan that can only be accessed when leadership is going to change; a succession plan can be used before its "real" intent is necessary. It can be used to build strong leadership, help a business survive the daily changes in the marketplace, and force executives to review and examine the company's current goals.
  • Succession planning gives your colleagues a voice. If you're running a family business, the process of succession planning will give family members an opportunity to express their needs and concerns. Giving them that voice will also help create a sense of responsibility throughout the organization, which is critical for successful succession planning. Resist the temptation to solely carry the entire weight of creating and then sustaining a plan.

Buy - Sell Agreements

Buy-sell agreements are one of the most common and important tools in setting the parameters for an ownership transfer to your partners, heirs, or the next generation of leadership in your company.

  • Buy-sell agreements can be the cornerstone of solid estate planning, business continuity planning, or owner exit strategies, but they can also trigger disputes and litigation if the parties do not understand how their buy-sell agreements may affect them and their families when a triggering event occurs.

Executive Benefits

Traditional Deferred Compensation Plans - Assists executives to diversify investments, reduce income taxes, and achieve tax-deferred investment growth. Plans can also reduce your top executives' worry about benefit repudiation, corporate control changes and corporate insolvency.

  • Supplemental Retirement Plans (SERPs) - Provides today's top executive with additional retirement benefits to avoid government-imposed limits on qualified retirement plans. These plans can restore executive retirement benefits to the same percentage of pay received by other employees, and can address the special needs of mid-career hires.
  • Executive Life Insurance Plans – Life insurance benefits are important to today's top executives. These tailored plans for pre- and post-retirement planning typically cost less but offer more comprehensive benefits than traditional group plans. Executive life plans offer tax-deferred cash accumulation, portability and corporate recovery or plan costs.
  • Executive Disability Plans - Many studies show that disability in America is increasing. Executive disability plans provide financial security for executives and their families if a career is cut short by a disabling injury or illness. These plans supplement long-term group disability plans, providing executives with higher benefit limits, more comprehensive features, and contractual guarantees. These plans can also continue to fund retirement benefits that may end upon disability. 

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