Succession Planning

In business, as in life, it is important to always have a plan. Success starts by knowing where you want to go, and having a strategy for how you're going to get there. That means not only mapping the course you expect to follow, but also providing a backup plan to address any surprises or setbacks that may come up along the way. Just as it is imperative for a person to plan his or her estate to ensure that family and loved ones are taken care of in the event his or her death or incapacity, it is also imperative to have a plan for who will take the reins of your business under the same circumstances.

You've worked hard to establish your business and you've earned the right to decide who will run it if you are no long able or no longer want to. A solid succession plan is the key to guaranteeing that the company or partnership is in the right hands for years to come.

The Florida succession planning lawyers at Cantwell & Goldman, P.A. have a wide range of experience helping businesses prepare for the future. Representing clients since 1984, our background in business law and estate planning allows us to serve all of our clients' needs in an efficient, effective, and professional manner.

Generally, a succession plan allows a business owner to designate the person or persons who will own and operate the business when the owner dies or becomes incapacitated. Just how it works depends on the nature of the ownership. The good news is that there are a number of legal tools that allow ownership interests to be transferred smoothly to an intended beneficiary.

A part owner can identify the person whom he or she wants to take on the ownership role under certain circumstances. This is often accomplished through a living trust, in which the owner transfers his or her interest in the business to the trust. An appointed trustee can then manage the ownership interest immediately after the owner's death or incapacity and ultimately transfer it to an intended beneficiary. One of the many benefits to the living trust is that it allows the ownership to be transferred upon death without going through the judicial probate process.

For a single owner who wants the business to go to more than one person - various children, for example - there are ways in which he or she can pre-determine who will be given management duties or how the duties will be divided among owners. In a shareholder agreement, for instance, the owner can specify the person to be granted management rights, and also provide this person the opportunity buy out other owners if suitable.

A succession plan can also be a useful tool for a person who intends to eventually retire. It allows an owner to identify possible successors over time and provides peace of mind, knowing that the business will be in the right hands in the future.

At Cantwell & Goldman, P.A. our lawyers are well-equipped to serve clients in all of their planning needs. With practice areas including business litigation, asset protection, and estate planning, we are uniquely positioned to represent clients in a wide variety of matters. We are dedicated to understanding our clients' specific needs and protecting their rights while providing high quality legal services.

If you are considering drafting or amending a business succession plan, consult the Brevard County business lawyers at Cantwell & Goldman, P.A. Call our Cocoa office at 866-583-9129 or contact us online to discuss your situation and learn how we may be able to assist you.