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Points for Business Succession Planning

  1. Start now—address the issue of business succession—don’t put it off!

  2. Call in your business planning and estate planning team: attorney, accountant, tax professional, and insurance professional.

  3. Consider adopting corporate status—if you have not already done so—to help ensure your business will continue after your death.

  4. With your most competent staff, decide on the most likely candidates for successor.

  5. Once chosen, begin to train and prepare the successor to actually take over.

  6. Determine a monetary value for each owner’s share and prepare a buy-sell agreement.

  7. Set up a business will and perhaps trusts—include a management plan and a buy-sell agreement.

  8. Develop an estate plan that assures the availability of cash to help pay federal and state estate taxes.

  9. Fund the buy-sell agreement with life insurance to enable your designated successors to buy the business.

  10. Communicate your plans to all affected parties, including family members and other heirs.

  11. Review and update your business succession plan whenever a significant change takes place.

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