Estate Planning or Exit Planning – You Can Do Both

You’re a business owner and you keep hearing that you need to have an exit plan in place.  But, you don’t even have an estate plan.  Which one should you attend to first?    The reality is that objectives of a successful business exit plan and a successful estate plan often align. Getting things to the right person, in the right way, at the right time, and with as little tax impact as possible.  Therefore, planning shouldn't be done in silos, but should be cohesive.  Often the decisions you make in one area can have a dramatic effect on your remaining options in the other.  I am a big fan of NCAA basketball and I love the annual tournament.  As I have watched the exciting runs of Gonzaga, South Carolina, Oregon and North Carolina, one thing is clear - they are complete teams.  They don’t just plan for one phase of the game.  Years ago there was a fun team to watch, Loyola Marymount.  They basically rejected the idea of defense and tried to simply score as much as possible.  While these made for fun games, they were never really able to make noise in the tournament because they were one dimensional.  Exit planning and estate planning should be viewed the same way.  Planning for only one or the other results in a one dimensional plan that will not address all of the issues.  So, take a page out of these game plans and make sure you have a holistic plan that addresses exit planning and estate planning.