A Case Study: The Entrepreneur’s Estate Plan

When you consider how few businesses flourish at the death of their founder, it should be no surprise that great estate planning is an essential component to aiding family business survival.

While all of us are focused on our careers, nothing takes quite the same dedication and nurturing as when you work for yourself in your own business.  How is it then that 65% of all entrepreneur has no estate plan at all?

Business succession planning is a process in which business owners research and consider a strategy to move forward in the event of death, illness, or simply transition.  Such planning is a process in which business owners research and consider a strategy to move forward in the event of death, illness, or simply transition.  There is no “one size fits all” plan.  A business owner should carefully consider his or her options. Without a plan in place, there’s a good chance for failure.

Consider a trust to be your business succession plan.  It can answer the all-important question of who runs your business if you are incapacitated or die unexpectedly. It can also address what happens if none of the family wants the business.  While none of the questions are pleasant to contemplate they are nonetheless as vital a part of operating your business as anything else you likely do.

Don’t overlook providing your Trustee with the proper ‘powers’ within the trust to operate your business.  This means making sure your Trustee has the ability to pledge business assets so that they can to borrow working capital.  Provide the power to sell selling unproductive business assets. Then there are other issues such as how much liquidity should remain in the business at all times, ownership percentages, how to resolve family disagreements and the management capabilities of those relevant individuals.

Reference: EntrepreneurAn Emergency Safety Valve: The Case for Entrepreneurial Estate Planning” by Ellen Martin dated July 20, 2017


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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.