Josh Welsh Speaks at WIAFP Annual Conference

September 10, 2013

On September 10, 2013, Attorney Josh Welsh participated in a panel discussion of issues related to succession planning for business owners at the Wisconsin Association for Financial Professionals Annual Conference.  The presentation, titled “How to Plan a Successful Succession: Utilize Your Trusted Advisors Effectively” focused on how business owners, along with their advisors, can effectively plan for and implement strategies for the succession of their business.  

 As background, here is the synopsis provided by Attorney Welsh in connection with the presentation:

 In our often-served role as general counsel to closely-held businesses, we recognize that, first and foremost, we represent business owners—the people behind these businesses.  These owners have goals which are shaped by interests and desires extending well beyond their immediate (and oftentimes all-consuming) focus on running their business.  We view it as important to take the time to learn these broader goals early on in the representation.  How soon do they want to retire?  Do they have children involved in the business?  Do they have one or more key employees? What are their plans once they step-away from the business?

 While the answers to these questions undoubtedly assist us in determining appropriate strategies, the nature of the business itself can also play an important, and sometimes determinative, role.  For instance, there is potentially a significant difference in planning for a company which sells a service versus a company which sells a tangible product.  Sometimes the most important aspect of succession planning is not in implementing a formalized plan, but rather in recognizing the inherent planning difficulties and taking appropriate steps to account for the possibility that the business can’t or won’t transition as smoothly as one would hope. 

 It probably goes without saying that, irrespective of whether you’re looking to implement a true succession “plan,” or instead planning for the inherent difficulties in the succession of a business, it is best to address these issues sooner rather than later.  It’s  also best to involve other advisors in the process early so that everyone is on the same page and moving forward toward the goals established by the client.

 Attorney Welsh has substantial experience in the related areas of estate and succession planning and regularly advises managers and owners of businesses on such matters.  For more information, please contact our office.

The information contained herein is not intended as and should not be construed as legal advice.  Please consult with legal counsel before taking any action based on this information.