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Some families spend generations building a business from the ground up, but inadequate preparation for the future can result in major issues when the business owner passes without any plan for the company’s succession. You may have heard the phrase “From shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.” This so-called “Shirtsleeves Curse” reflects the very real risk that a family’s wealth could decrease, not increase, across the generations.

From tax consequences to probate issues, a business succession plan can ensure the family business remains open and operating even in the wake of an unexpected passing. Let a Boston business succession lawyer advise you on a succession plan for your family business as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney could work with you to ensure that your needs are met.

How Incapacity or Death Can Impact a Business

The surprising death or incapacitation of a business owner could upend the future of a successful business. Despite these serious consequences, many business owners fail to take any steps to ensure a smooth transition when they are no longer able to lead their business.

The future of a small family business could be in doubt without a solid succession plan in place. Infighting could occur not only about the direction of the business, but whether should continue at all. Fights over the control of a business could ruin personal relationships and cause the company to fail.

These issues are not unique to small businesses. Larger companies could quickly devolve into chaos following the unexpected death of an owner or operator. Without a written plan, other partners could demand the sale of a business or attempt to take it over entirely. Businesses of all sizes are best served by having a succession plan in place, and a skilled attorney in Boston could lead the way in these efforts.

The Possibilities of Probate

In many cases, a probate court could become involved following the death of a business owner, especially when a single individual owned a business at the time of their passing. Depending on the structure of the business, it could fall to the probate court to decide who will inherit it. This could lead to family strife, especially if there is a disagreement over the deceased owner’s wishes.

A Boston business succession lawyer could know how to address the possibility of probate in these situations and craft a comprehensive plan to avoid these potential issues.

The Use of Buy-Sell Agreements

One of the most common tools used in the business succession planning process is a buy-sell agreement. These agreements control how ownership in a company is bought or sold and are useful in cases when there are multiple business partners. A buy-sell agreement could govern whether a buyout is possible and set the price for a buyout of the deceased partner’s heirs should they no longer wish to be involved in the operation of the business.

Get in Touch with a Boston Business Succession Attorney Today

Having a thorough succession plan in place could make a crucial impact on the success of your business after your passing. The lack of such a plan could put your loved ones in a difficult position involving tax liability or debts and create emotional strife and financial stress within your family.

Do not leave your business succession plans to chance. Contact a Boston business succession lawyer right away and schedule an initial consultation. Our team can evaluate your situation and help you reach a decision that best suits your unique needs.