Planning for High Net Worth Families with Closely Held Businesses

ShuffieldLowman understands the unique challenges with representing the owners of privately held family-owned businesses who have accumulated significant wealth. The firm effectively assists these owners in planning for the continued growth, development and refinement of their businesses, along with their corporate structure, compensation of their executives, acquisition of real estate, development of growth capital, and eventual exit transaction from the businesses. At the same time, the firm makes sure to review and comprehend the effect of the business owner’s personal goals and objectives in providing such assistance to the businesses.

In particular, our experienced attorneys understand that it is very common for a family business owner to struggle with the involvement of family members in the succession plan for the business and with harmonizing the needs of the business to succeed with the emotional needs of the family in a multigenerational context. The representation of those clients requires a unique perspective that focuses on the interrelation of the many facets of business and tax law, intermixed with complex estate planning practices. Such focus requires a depth of experience in handling family governance, family partnerships, dynasty trusts, liquidity planning, estate/gift and income tax planning, retirement and compensation plans for business owners and executives, and various types of charitable planning. The firm also has experience creating Family Trust Companies, which serve as a steward for the family in perpetuity managed under a system of corporate governance and board oversight. A Family Trust Company is a powerful alternative to naming a traditional institutional fiduciary or a series of individuals who lack the same longevity.

Our team is well equipped to help family business owners with significant wealth in the development of a successful plan to meet their personal and business goals and objectives whether that ultimately means a transition of ownership and control of the business to the next generation or a sale to an unrelated party. In either scenario, we work with the business owner to create a structure that will fit their needs and minimize tax burdens using planning techniques best suited for that environment.

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