Classic Family Business Estate Planning Mistakes

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Please tune in this week as Wayne dissects a family business estate case study and points out some problems that the parents and planners may not have thought through.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments.

And, don’t forget about our next Contractor Business Boot Camp class scheduled for Oct 15-16 in Raleigh, NC. Please contact Charlotte at to learn more about the program.

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  1. They should’ve started gifting 25 years ago so gifting now is later, but better than at 2nd death.
    They have a huge tax problem. Too late for both to die life insurance, so thought on cash needed has to be considered.

    • Good call, Jeryl.

  2. Hello Wayne, Congratulations! I am a long time viewer of your comments and find your thoughts today regarding estate planning to be profound. Parents that plan their estate without including their family members in the process are making a huge mistake that very well mean not only the family but the business will not survive is demonstrated in that less than 15% of the business survive beyond the second generation.

    As you may know, most of the family business owner(s) advisors only represent the business owner(s) only and are not willing to engage all family members until the death of the owner. It requires different skills and talents for advisors to engage all family members in the planning process. I have authored a book, Becoming a Wealth Transfer Specialist to assist advisors to learn the necessary skills and talents to include the entire family in the planning process. It is important for both owner and advisors to understand that learning including all family members will allow the business owner and trusted advisors to make more informed decisions by including all family members is helpful for advisors to move beyond traditional transaction approach to a planning process consulting model.

    In 1980 I hired a third party to conduct a survey of 200 of our family business clients and one of the important issues discovered is we should redefine identify the client as all the family members rather than only the current business owner.

    As a result of that survey I expanded our practice by renewing family businesses. The Family Business Renewal (FBR) System revives the human voice in a technical world and makes tax, financial, and legal issues easier for clients to understand, manage, and implement.

    With quality coaching: legal, tax, and financial advisors learn to blend their technical expertise with FBR’s process approach. Together, they correct the planning imbalance by seeing the entire family as the client.

  3. Very good blog today – Glad the couple has made it that long/far! Many details to this Blog are in a short book (9 Chapters/199 Pages) by Ron Blue “Splitting Heirs” – Hope to make it long enough to not need a will/estate plan – Give it away while can still coach recipients… One day someone will have it all and have never known the giver…

    • Thanks, Freddie!

  4. Excellent advice as we start to think about how to transition to Gen 3. Thanks.

    • Thanks, Kent!

  5. Wayne-

    Thanks for discussing this. Can you post the article from Private Wealth Magazine you referenced in the blog?

    Thanks, -Mike Reddy, Travelers Bond

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