Nashville View

Business Succession Planning

Wills and Trusts Lawyers Serving Individuals in the Nashville Area

After building a business, you want to have control over what happens to it when you leave. Business succession planning gives you that control, letting you decide if the entity should pass on to family members or take another route in line with your desires. The wills and trusts attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC help business owners in the Nashville area and beyond execute their wishes. We offer experienced services to make sure their companies are properly handled in the event of incapacitation, death, or retirement. Our firm works with our clients to ensure the proper documents and strategies are used to carry out the transition of their businesses in line with their goals and needs.

Options For Your Business Upon Departure

Business succession planning may include ensuring the entirety of your company is left to your surviving spouse, dividing responsibilities and value in proportion to children who participate in the business and those who do not, or other options that transfer ownership outside the family. Some of these options include:

  • Management buy-outs, such as buy-sell agreements or another stock transfer process involving price determination, terms of sale, and other complex business strategies.
  • Sale of the business to key employees, either by partial sale using a non-qualified deferred compensation arrangement or complete sale of all stock options.
  • Outside sale, which may include selling to a new owner or the business’ closure.

Liquidation of a business’ assets may also be an option to ensure your company gets the highest price to be used to pay off debts. Whichever outcome is in a business owner’s best interest requires detailed preparation of agreements and other documents, such as those related to various trusts or wills necessary for proper execution.

Business Succession Plans for Family Transfers

Future planning for your family business often means making sure your spouse or children have certain rights and responsibilities in the company upon your death, incapacitation, or departure. A comprehensive business succession plan may include contracts of employment for those family members who are to manage day-to-day business, as well as a sales agreement between an owner and his or her children or spouse. These plans may also incorporate life insurance plans that serve to buy out current interests and provide payment for stock prices within an estate, or creation of a family limited partnership with an option for limited partners to increase equity in the future.

Regardless of the arrangements preferable to a business owner, these agreements and documents should be revisited every few years to make sure they are still in line with the best interests of you and your family. Consulting an experienced attorney who can help you assess your business’ future prospects, as well as your goals and family’s needs, is essential to successful future business planning.

Discuss Your Estate Planning Needs with a Nashville Attorney

Taking the steps to plan for when you exit your company can help you now, as well as in the future when you decide to retire, or if you become unexpectedly incapacitated. The estate planning lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC can guide Nashville residents and others across Tennessee through this process. Our firm represents clients in Franklin, Belle Meade, Cool Springs, and other communities in Davidson and Williamson Counties. If you need assistance for your business succession plan or any estate planning service, contact us online or call 615-800-7096 today.