We often come across a surprisingly large number of business owners who struggle with this very issue, as it is both a monetary and an emotional decision. The most common approach is to give other non-business estate assets to those not receiving any interest in the business with the goal of equalizing the value received by everyone. If there are insufficient assets outside the business, insurance is an excellent option to help equalize an estate among the children and other family members, as applicable.
The argument against this approach is that the children receiving the insurance proceeds do not have to do anything to receive the money whereas the one(s) taking over the family business not only have the risk of continuing to run a successful business, they may have also been working hard alongside the owner to make it a success. An option sometimes used in these situations, is to leave a lessor amount to those inheriting non-business assets to account for the reduced risk of not keeping the business going because what is fair may not always be equal. Family meetings to discuss these issues are often a good idea before a family is forced to deal with such decisions. This approach allows parents to set expectations and helps reduce potential family challenges in the future and also provides an opportunity to make changes based on candid family discussions.
While every family has its own unique personalities, goals, and desires, our team of professionals has the experience and knowledge to help you through this complicated process.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as an offer or solicitation for the sale of any financial product or service. It is not designed or intended to provide financial, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice since such advice always requires consideration of individual circumstances. If professional advice is needed, the services of a professional advisor should be sought.Contact an Expert