In this issue
Having succession problems? Feel misunderstood by your father or your son or daughter or brother-in-law? Maybe they feel the same way. If only everyone could begin to appreciate the other guy's point of view a little bit.
It may seem obvious, but those who have been through it know how hard it is to get business owners and their heirs to look at things through each others' eyes, to understand the emotions that are disturbing the other and hindering communication.
Ask senior managers of many family businesses about their firm's marketing, and they are likely to tell you about their hustling, aggressive sales force. Or they may try to convince you that marketing planning is something that large corporations do but is not necessary for small or medium-sized businesses. Or they may complain about wasteful expenditures on advertising.
Business owners have long known that it makes sense to pass along some stock during theirlifetimes to their heirs. Most are aware that each parent is allowed to give every one of theirchildren $10,000 a year, plus an additional total of $600,000 to all, free of gift tax. When an ownerdies, the estate can exclude from estate tax whatever portion of that $600,000 has not been used ingifting. But if the company has grown during the parents' lifetime, the heirs will have to pay a lotmore tax on the appreciated value of the stock at death than if they had received it in previousyears.
A NON-COMPETE covenant is one of the most important intangible assets of a familyowned business. Yet in negotiations for the sale of some businesses, it is frequently overlooked byboth the buyer, who stands to benefit the most from the covenant, and the seller, who doesn'tappreciate what he too can gain.