Progressive Grocer Independent

OCT 2014

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October 2014 | Defining the Independent Market | 23 Te Demoulas case is an example of what can go wrong with only an estate plan in place. "Understand that if done properly, control of the business never has to be given up prematurely — if ever," he maintains. Personal fnancial planning of fam- ily members/business owners should also be coordinated with the business and estate planning. Kirlin believes that strategizing in this vein includes answering some key questions: Do I have enough liquidity to provide income to my spouse/family if I die or become disabled? Do I have an expo- sure to estate tax? When all is said and done, Kirlin recommends running a "fre drill sec- ond opinion" from advisers who aren't related to the successors or current advisers, so that they can assess the plan in place and identify potential problems. Toughen Up and Talk Openly Succession planning topics are often tough to discuss — death, divorce, cutting ties with a family member who wants out. But it's imperative that fam- ily business owners get tougher than the topics — to get the ball rolling and answer the hard questions honestly and openly, starting with themselves. "Tis business has been a part of my life for almost 32 years and it's hard to think about giving up control, but I'm working on it," Neiman says. "All this efort is to result in an ongoing com- pany beyond my lifetime." Getting tough takes on diferent forms in succession planning. In the case of Archie's IGA, a St. Maries, Idaho-based independent grocery business with two stores, co-owner Brian McGregor, along with his father and brother, set up their plan so that only they have ownership rights to the business — all of their wives and children are essentially out. But according to McGregor, this was all decided openly, with all family mem- bers' understanding and consent. "It sounds kind of ruthless when talking with family, but yet how is the business going to survive and con- tinue to feed the family? Tat's what we put frst, and everyone ultimately understands that," McGregor ex- plains. He and his father and brother put the plan in place with an attorney after reading about and talking to other independent retailers. Reassess Regularly It's one thing to get a good plan in place, but if it's not re-evaluated on a regular basis, it might be deemed use- less when it's needed down the road. Put another way, responsible family business owners don't just "set and forget" a succession plan. A minimum of once-yearly reviews seems to be the consensus for good succession planning. "We sit back and refect on what we did the year prior, business-wise and otherwise," Mc- Gregor says. "We look at what worked and what didn't, and how we are set fnancially — that has to play a role in it. And then as we get older, our wants and our needs become diferent, and those have to be taken into account, too." And it's not just family members who are getting older; the aging of advisers and attorneys should be con- sidered as well. Tis recently became a topic of discussion for Neiman and his attorney, who introduced him to another attorney in her ofce who would most likely take over the Neiman account in time. Neiman also regularly reviews banking, insurance and other fnancial elements. Te overall consensus for succession planning is, don't wait. Te planning process may not be fun, but for the future success of your family's business, it's necessary. PGI Biro Manufacturing Company Marblehead, oH 43440-2099 USA 419-798-4451 Fax 419-798-9106 224RB-6-13 Vacuum Marinating Enhances Taste and Adds Value Md. VTS-42 Md. VTS-46 Md. VTS-44

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