Whether your prize assets are construction sites, acres of cropland or artwork, a business succession plan takes a lot of time to map out. Business plans are often by-products of good succession plans. Planning to hand over a business takes more than one meeting with one professional. It can take months, involve a number of professionals, and require family meetings as well.
Estate planning is a process, not an event. If you are working on your succession plan, expect to be having more than a few meetings. In fact, succession planning is a process. Ten years of time can fly by very quickly, so the earlier you can start having these conversations with your attorney, the better.
The amount of time needed to draft a solid succession plan is different for every family. If things are fairly straightforward, it may take only six to nine months. However, it’s not uncommon for this process to take a year or more.
There’s no magic age to start the process, but again, sooner is better. You can spend your entire career building your business. However, very few people have really spent much time thinking about how they will effectively exit from it.
You may not be thinking of retiring or transitioning your business for 15 or 20 years but having an idea of where you’re trying to get, gives you a better track on which to run. Succession planning should happen well before retirement, so that’s why the best plans are flexible and adaptable. Things may change from the time you start working on a succession plan, to when it is finally completed. That doesn’t mean anything was done wrong–usually, it means just the opposite.
Even a simple operation will need the help of an estate planning attorney, a financial advisor, an insurance agent, and a CPA. All of these professionals understand the pressures and expenses of the business realm and their knowledge can be used to create a plan that will work over the course of many years. Contact our firm today to get started on your succession plan.