Your Business, Your Legacy: Planning for the Future
For business owners, estate planning and succession planning are inextricably linked. After all, building a business, like raising a family, is a labor of love.
Whether we are thinking about the next generation or the next leaders of our company, planning is really about continuing the love that we poured into the people and endeavors most important to us during our lifetimes.
That’s why Jennifer Schuchart, First Horizon Bank Market President; Paul Lankau, a Financial Advisor at First Horizon Advisors, Inc.; and Wendy Martin, a Senior Trust Officer at First Horizon Bank, often work together to help entrepreneurs map their transition into retirement and beyond.
Here’s an excerpt of a recent conversation with Jennifer, Paul, and Wendy about how they help business owners plan their legacy on both a personal and business level.
How does succession planning overlap with estate planning?
Jennifer: When people build a business, for the most part, that’s the way they build their personal wealth. The business is the legacy they hope to leave to the next generation in one form or another.
Wendy: Both involve wealth transfer, with business succession planning occurring during life, and estate planning occurring during life and also afterwards. The overlap occurs often, especially if there are multiple heirs, or some heirs who do not work in the business.
What other aspects of financial planning overlap with business succession planning?
What if your future heirs aren't involved in the business? Will lack of succession planning affect them?
What if the person you picture running the business next isn't the person you want to leave your estate to?
Usually we think of the relationship with our banker as limited to things such as loans or deposits. How are you helping business owners with such wide-reaching issues?
How do you put clients at ease when the stakes are so high? And, second, what's the consistent approach you've taken when you work together to make sure your guidance is tailor-made for each client?
Jennifer: We start with a question like, “Where do you see the future of your business when you’re no longer involved?” That usually starts us off in a conversation both about succession planning and estate planning, because they’re going to have both professional and personal goals.
Wendy: From there, we enlist the help of experts, like financial planners, accountants, attorneys, and trust officers to forge an action plan. Then we help implement that plan. Finally, we conduct periodic reviews to make sure the plan is accomplishing what we set out to do.
One way First Horizon brings value to that relationship is the teamwork we practice. We arrange for the client to sit down with experts within our bank and in our network, to help them eliminate uncertainty about the future and plan that eventual transition.
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