Just because two business partners get along well doesn’t mean the next generation will do so too. When succession planning is done in advance, restrictions — or at the very least, mechanisms to dictate how decisions will be made and what procedures are to be used in case of disagreement – can be used to avoid messy, protracted battles.
A recent New York Times article, The Battle for a Comic-Book Empire That Archie Built, detailed the ongoing legal battle over the two dueling CEOs of Archie Comic Publications. The story of the fight can be a vivid illustration for advisors’ clients about why it’s important to work with experienced estate planning attorneys, particularly those skilled in business succession planning, when there is a family business. No one thinks that ugly feuds like this one can happen. But they do, and proper legal planning done in advance is the best source of prevention.
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