Succession Planning: Your Child Got Married and Now You Fear for Your Business

This topic comes from a blog viewer who is facing a conundrum. The viewer’s son recently got married to his “short-time” girlfriend. The father, who is a few years away from retirement is petrified for what this means for his family business. He asks, “Is there anything I can do to make sure my business continues to support my family well after I retire?”

Breathe a sigh of relief. Of course, there is!

Succession planning done right can ensure that your family business stays in the family, regardless of marriages and possible divorces. Unfortunately, we live in an era where there is an approximately 50% divorce rate. This means that if our viewer’s son is the successor and takes over the family business, his wife could be entitled to 50% of the son’s stake in the business if they get a divorced. The family business is at risk of no longer being in the family.

Many mistakes are made when developing succession plans that leave businesses and farms at risk. Building a succession plan as a family, with a lawyer who has experience in succession planning, is crucial. It is difficult, if not nearly impossible, to fix the succession planning mistakes after an individual outside of the family gains entitlement to the business or farm.
It is never too early to begin succession planning. Cover, Evans, & Fricke, LLP has over 30 years of succession planning experience in Illinois with business and farms. Don’t let your life’s work be at risk.

Team CEF

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