Succession Planning

Call Us: (970) 241-8308

Is this the Elephant in your Boardroom?

If you own a family business, retirement isn't simply a matter of deciding not to go into the office anymore. You've got some critical questions to answer like...

"What happens when you aren't running it?"

"Will you have enough money to retire?"

Family dynamics can complicate the transition because of the relationships and emotions involved. Most people are not comfortable discussing topics such as aging, death, and financial affairs.

Comfortable or not, succession planning should be a priority for any family business considering that more than seven out of ten family-owned businesses fail to survive the transition from founder to second generation, typically falling prey either to estate taxes or family discord - or both.

Developing and implementing a well-designed succession plan is essential to the survival of a family business from one generation to the next.

"A successful business is often the best thing that can happen to a family and the worst."

"The biggest challenge in family businesses is the patriarch who lingers too long."
- Gordon Pitt

We help you with these key issues

  • Keeping it in the family. Are you going to pass the business on to your family or sell it to a third party? We help you weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each of these options.

  • Who's going to run the business when you're gone? Management and ownership are not one and the same. You may decide to transfer management of your business to just one of your children but transfer equal shares of business ownership to all your children, whether they're actively involved in the business or not.

  • Minimizing the tax bite. The tax burden when transitioning a family business can be significant. The challenge is that a family business is not generally a liquid asset, but taxes are typically due when ownership is transferred.

  • Making it fair. Transferring family ownership often adds a tremendous amount of stress to individual family members. We talk with each of the family members to ensure that they feel they a getting an equitable and fair share of the pie.

What we do for you...

Once we understand how you feel about the key issues above, we begin constructing your succession plan focusing on these 5 issues...

  • Business Valuation
  • Business Restructuring
  • Tax Consequences
  • Retirement Projections
  • Tax Projections

At Morris & Tonsfeldt, we've been helping businesses with issues like this in a sensitive, creative and cooperative manner for a decade or two. Unlike an attorney, we can see all sides of an issue and structure a plan that protects your assets...and your important relationships.

"There often seems to be nothing scientific about the management of a family company. Much of what goes on is rooted in emotion, and succession is the most emotional issue of all. Business professors hate this kind of situation; psychiatrists thrive on it." - Gordon Pitt

Call Dennis Morris, CPA if you would like to discuss the future of your business.