by John V. Ivsan
Shumamker, Loop & Kenkdrick
A problem inherent in most family businesses involves the issues of succession and taxation. As a family business continues to grow, the business becomes an increasingly valuable asset in the hands of the elder family members. If the business remains in a parent’s estate, upon death there may be significant estate taxes, as well as liquidity problems involved with paying those taxes. The parent’s estate may be compelled to sell valuable assets to pay for estate taxes, jeopardizing the family business and leaving heirs with a diminished estate.
Parents are often reluctant to remove a family business from their estates.Typically, a parent does not want to part with management control over the family business, risking the fortunes of a growing enterprise with children who may be less experienced at the business.Additionally, many traditional forms of transferring ownership of the family business from parents to children are subject to high levels of gift tax. More…