Time to Think About that Family Business Succession Plan

By Attorneys Jason S. Palmisano and Gary R. PannoneOctober 26, 2018Business

The most recent PricewaterhouseCoopers U.S. Family Business Survey (2017) concludes that succession planning is a “perennial problem” for family businesses. Nearly one-third of family businesses have no succession plan at all, and just 23% have a formal documented plan in place.

One reason why so many family business owners do not engage in proper succession planning is that they view the process as difficult and complex. To be fair, it can be overwhelming to account and plan for family dynamics, career objectives of children, the state of the market in which the business operates, and how the business should be transferred, if at all, to the next generation. Further, business owners typically want to leverage their lifetime work to ensure financial support for their lifestyle after they exit the business.

As one might expect, a comprehensive, tailored succession plan is a significant undertaking. A business owner’s exit strategy should address and take into consideration personal and business asset protection, strategies for tax minimization and value maximization, business continuity planning, estate planning, and possible lifetime transfers of ownership of the family business to the next generation.

To help business owners understand how they can construct an effective business succession plan, an experienced attorney can develop an organized, logical, step-by-step blueprint for the transfer of the business. The blueprint should provide the owner flexibility and adaptability if plans were to change, which they often do. For example, if a key employee were to leave or a third party came along offering top dollar, a well-designed succession plan would be able to adjust.

Business owners have the absolute right to determine how to transition the control and ownership in their business to the eventual successor. Planning for the eventual transition, in whatever form it takes, will take time, and the earlier one starts, the better. Now is the perfect time to begin. To get started, contact Attorney Jason S. Palmisano, who has extensive experience helping clients prepare succession plans as well as wealth management strategies and trust and estate administration. He can be reached at 561-362-2034 or email jpalmisano@pldolaw.com, or you can contact the firm’s Managing Principal and business attorney Gary R. Pannone at 401-824-5100 or email gpannone@pldolaw.com.



Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only. This blog is not legal advice and you should not use or rely on it as such. By reading this blog or our website, no attorney-client relationship is created. We do not provide legal advice to anyone except clients of the firm who have formally engaged us in writing to do so. This blog post may be considered attorney advertising in certain jurisdictions. The jurisdictions in which we practice license lawyers in the general practice of law, but do not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.

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AuthorJason S. Palmisano

Jason S. Palmisano is a Senior Counsel with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC and a member of the Estate and Trust Planning, Administration and Litigation Team. He focuses his practice on counseling clients in all areas of trust and estate planning and administration, Elder Law and guardianship law, Medicaid planning, disability planning and probate administration.

Attorney Palmisano has significant experience advising clients on wealth management, asset protection, charitable giving strategies and in all matters of tax planning, including multinational tax and advising clients on business and succession planning. In addition, his practice includes preparing a wide variety of trusts, including grantor, irrevocable life insurance, special needs and qualified personal residence trusts, among others.

Prior to his legal practice, he was a Campus Director for Athletes in Action, where he provided leadership training and led charitable giving campaigns.

Attorney Palmisano earned his J.D. from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, cum laude, his LL.M in Taxation from the University of Florida Levin College of Law and a B.S. in Math Education from the Miami University in Ohio.  He is licensed to practice in Florida and is a Florida Bar board certified lawyer in wills, trusts and estates law, which is a highly regarded designation that recognizes member-attorneys for their high standard of professionalism, ethics and special knowledge, skills and proficiency in practice areas.

To contact Attorney Palmisano, call at 561-362-2034 or email jpalmisano@pldolaw.com.


AuthorGary R. Pannone

Gary R. Pannone is the Managing Principal of Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC and has been representing closely held business owners for thirty years. He is an experienced business lawyer specializing in the areas of business formations, corporate restructuring, mergers, acquisitions and corporate compliance. His practice includes the representation of nonprofit organizations with respect to consolidations, mergers and acquisitions. In addition to his role as Managing Principal of the firm, Attorney Pannone serves as the team leader for the Health Care Law, Corporate & Business Law and Nonprofit Organizations teams.

Attorney Pannone serves on several boards and governance committees of nonprofit organizations. He is a former Town Solicitor and has served as special counsel to several municipalities. He is also a frequent lecturer and author in the areas of health care law, corporate compliance, board governance and best practices.

Prior to the founding of Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC, Attorney Pannone served as the managing partner of the Providence office of Holland & Knight LLP. He is a prominent member of the legal community, and was honored by his peers and judges with the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell, which is the highest rating based on both legal ability and ethics. He has also been recognized by his peers as a leading lawyer in the areas of business law and corporate compliance by The Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Super Lawyers and Corporate Counsel. For several years, including 2017 and 2018, Attorney Pannone was named Rhode Island’s Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers in his practice areas. He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the nation’s leading research institute for the study of law.

Attorney Pannone received his J.D. from Suffolk Law School after earning his undergraduate degree in Finance and Accounting from the University Of Notre Dame. He is admitted to practice law in Rhode Island and the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island.

To contact Attorney Pannone, call 401-824-5100 or email gpannone@pldolaw.com.

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