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Shark Attack Nearly Foils Succession Planning

Briggs never imagined he would need another succession plan so quickly. If the shark had killed him, his clients and employees would have been left out in the cold. His wife would likely not have realized any of the value of the practice he had built up over 15 years, he says.

Sometimes it takes a shark attack to get someone’s attention. For the rest of us, however, the threat threshold shouldn’t be so high. This is especially true when planning for your business succession.

So even if you never get much closer to sharks than a screening of Jaws, there’s something to learn from the story of someone who survived the attack and went on to ensure the survival of his business. This tale was recounted in a recent issue of Financial Advisor Magazine titled “Succession Survival Guide.”

Meet Max Briggs, CEO of FLC Capital Advisors and a business owner with a penchant for skin diving in dangerous waters. Nine months before his shark encounter, Briggs set up a succession plan with his business partner. Thereafter, his partner passed away at age of 42 and the buy/sell agreement provision in the succession plan kicked in. Not only did the arrangement save the business, but the plans also had not been reset before Briggs took his ill-fated dive. As a result, had he not survived the shark attack, the business would have fallen apart.

Even if you don’t spear fish or run an investment firm like Briggs, the need to make proper succession plans is universal. Without proper planning, your business (and any personal family wealth) could collapse.

What proper succession planning will mean for you and your business will vary given your unique circumstance, however, it is worth dedicating some time and energy into building a viable plan.

You can learn more about business succession planning on our website. Be sure to sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter to stay abreast of issues like these that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.

Reference: Financial Advisor Magazine (June 2012) “Succession Survival Guide

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