Q:

What if my family cannot see eye-to-eye about our succession planning goals?

A:

Well, if the family cannot see eye to eye about business succession goals, then as their attorney or their counselor, I’m going to recommend that we employ the services of a business psychologist or a consultant to work with the family to help them see eye to eye. Otherwise, we’re going to have a disaster when the senior generation is no longer able to manage the business, and there might end up being squabbling or worse between siblings. It’s a tough situation. Someone other than the estate attorney probably needs to get involved at that time.

Note: The Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 signed into law in December 2017 increased the exemption amounts mentioned in these videos. The personal estate, gift, and generation-skipping tax lifetime exemption was increased to $11.18 million per person. The annual gift tax exclusion was increased to $15,000 per donee per year.

Both amounts are indexed for inflation and may increase year over year until December 31, 2025, when the law sunsets and reverts to 2017 values.