Family Business Planning

When addressing estate planning needs, many entrepreneurs need to take their closely held businesses into consideration as part of their planning. Whether you own a business outright or you are a partner in a business, it's important to create clear instructions for your loved ones to follow should you die or become incapacitated.

Working with the estate planning attorneys at Ferguson Cohen LLP, in Greenwich, Connecticut, can save your family, your business partners and even your customers a great deal of trouble in the future. We provide customized legal counsel on strategic business structuring, finance, federal and state taxation, litigation, estate planning, employment law and employee benefits.

What To Address In An Estate Plan

The plans you put in place will depend largely on the extent of ownership you have in the business and any plans you have for succession. If you are a sole proprietor with no one in your family designated as a successor, your estate plan will include directions for how to sell the businesses' assets and what to do with the proceeds.

If you are in a business partnership, your estate plan should include specific directions on your ownership stake, whether your share should be sold to the surviving partners, and where the proceeds from such a sale should go.

If you are a licensed professional, such as a lawyer, doctor or dentist, planning what happens with your business upon your death or incapacity is essential. Only another licensed professional could take over your business.

A common fear among successful entrepreneurs is that the substantial amount of wealth they have amassed will be squandered if it ends up in the hands of children or other beneficiaries who are not adequately prepared to handle it.

We can alleviate these concerns through the implementation of smart estate planning tools such as a family incentive trust. These trusts can stipulate that beneficiaries receive payments from the trust only after achieving specified goals such as education, internships, employment or successfully treating alcohol or drug addiction.

We welcome the opportunity to review your situation and recommend the best strategy to incorporate family business planning into your estate plan. Our lawyers work with clients from offices in Greenwich, Connecticut, as well as White Plains and Bridgehampton, New York. Call us or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.