Estate Planning for the Family-Owned Business

Effective Strategies for Business Transfer Through Inheritance, Gift or Sale

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will address lifetime transfers of business ownership using key estate planning tools and concepts. The panel will discuss asset protection planning, transfer of business ownership interests to family members; and estate tax minimization that allows the owner to maintain control of the business.


The primary reason for the low percentage of successful family business transfers is lack of advance planning for transfer of management and ownership. Any transfer of ownership must minimize the departing owner’s risk, maximize his or her control and minimize the taxes both the company and owner must pay.

Counsel should consider various approaches and estate planning tools and techniques to accomplish the owner’s goals, including buy-sell agreements, business continuity agreements, domestic asset protection trusts, beneficiary defective inheritor’s trusts, charitable remainder trusts, and GRATs.

Listen as our authoritative panel of estate planning practitioners examines the various considerations for family business succession planning, and discusses best practices to accomplish the owner’s personal and business goals. The panel will also highlight key issues in estate and gift tax law that impact business succession planning.



  1. Possible reasons for lifetime transfers
    1. Estate tax minimization
    2. Asset protection
    3. Transfer business to children now
  2. Planner’s toolbox: how BDITs and DAPTs can be designed to:
    1. Protect assets
    2. Minimize estate taxes
    3. Transfer some or all of the business to the children
    4. Minimize risk, maximize value received, maintain owner control
  3. Planner’s toolbox: using GRATS and CRTs
    1. Protect assets
    2. Minimize estate taxes
    3. Transfer some or all of the business to the children
    4. Minimize risk, maximize value received, maintain owner control
  4. Business continuity agreements
    1. Why most buy-sell agreements are ticking time bombs
      1. What happens if an owner lives?
    2. Designing buy-sell agreements to minimize taxes upon a lifetime transfer yet be fully insured if an owner dies


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What is the typical owner profile (net worth, age, size of business, etc.) in Lower Middle Market (LMM)?
  • What are typical owner goals in LMM?
  • How can counsel engage business owners in this type of planning?
  • How to become involved in representing a client interested in a lifetime exit from the business when estate planning is not on the table. What other professional advisors will be involved and how can counsel best coordinate the actions of other advisors involved in the planning process?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


John H. Brown
John H. Brown

Business Enterprise Institute

As founder of the Denver law firm of Minor & Brown, he began his practice as an estate planner, but over the last...  |  Read More

Nicholas K. Niemann
Nicholas K. Niemann

McGrath North Mullin & Kratz

His practice areas include business owner exit planning, taxation, business site selection and expansion, and estate...  |  Read More

Timothy Scott
Timothy Scott

Wallace Scott

His practice areas include estate planning and administration, business and individual taxation planning, and exit and...  |  Read More

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