Most business owners believe they have their planning in order. Their team of professional advisors is in place, and all of the big ‘buckets’ of planning are accounted for—real estate contracts, tax reduction strategies, succession, etc. But, many fail to think about what happens to them personally, to their immediate family, and to their business. What if the pieces put in place are incomplete and don’t work cohesively or comprehensively to meet their goals?
To illustrate this point, we’d like to share a real-life story with you, with names changed to maintain the privacy of the family.
One of our clients, Adam, came to us by way of referral. He owned a successful medical practice with multiple locations. Adam was a good person with a growing business, interested in continued growth, providing for his family, and giving back to the community. Like many business owners, Adam felt he had his finances in order, a grasp of how the business was doing, and what he thought to be a good plan in place if something were to happen to him and he was no longer able to run the day to day operations of the business.
He was incredibly proud of his three children who were actively working in the business, and they had just started succession discussions. At the end of the day, Adam believed, in-part due to his prior team’s planning efforts, that his three children and wife would continue to lead the same lifestyle whether he was involved in the business or not. Unfortunately, Adam was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, with just a short time to live, and his planning was about to be put to the test.
As the family sat in the hospital, dealing with not only the loss but also thinking about the future, one of Adam’s children called our firm and asked, “Are we going to lose the business and the real estate associated with the business?” We were able to confidently tell him that because of the planning IM Wealth Partners did, they weren’t going to lose either the business or the real estate. Thankfully, before Adam’s passing, our team had already been working collaboratively with him and his entire team of professionals to resolve several issues we identified with his original plan that would have left him, his family, and the business exposed and at risk. The new plan addressed business succession and continuation so his children could seamlessly take over and run the business. In addition, mechanisms were put in place to ensure that the business and business-owned real estate would not have to be sold to cover estate taxes.
Five years later, the business is thriving and expanding. We continue to work with Adam’s family, who are now our clients, and his team of professionals. Adam’s children have settled into their roles and have pushed the business in new directions, of which their father would be proud. We are working on auditing some of their estates and helping to determine how future business opportunities impact their current financial plans. What hits home for our team is that every time we see Adam’s children, they thank and remind us how different things might have been if our team was not involved. Their father thought he had it all figured out. Thankfully, our team was able to work together with his other advisors to make things right before it was too late.
Our hope for you, your family, and your business is that you have a strong financial plan to protect and preserve the wealth you have worked so hard to build.
I look forward to sharing more with you at the April 7th event: How Much is Enough? The Emotional and Practical Steps to Estate Planning.
About Ian Meierdiercks, CEO IM Wealth Partners
Ian Meierdiercks started his career at one of the oldest and largest financial planning firms in the industry and quickly determined the only way to provide truly comprehensive and unbiased advice was in an independent environment separate from any specific investment and/or insurance company. It is out of this belief that IM Wealth Partners was founded. Using a goal-based approach, IM Wealth Partners looks to simplify and coordinate the often complex financial landscape in an attempt to help each and every client maximize their potential and exceed their goals.
IM Wealth Partners’ financial concierge model is designed to provide a macro approach to achieving goals while making micro-decisions on a day-to-day basis. Ian Meierdiercks and his team work diligently every day to provide the highest level of expertise and service. A level they feel everyone seeks and deserves.
Using his twenty years of experience, Ian Meierdiercks meets daily with potential, new, and existing clients of the firm to skillfully guide the financial planning process for each. Ian has a strong background in working with Real Estate professionals and affluent clients. Widely respected as a financial planner, Ian Meierdiercks is invited regularly to serve as a guest speaker by numerous companies, organizations, colleges, and universities.
(Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal invested. Neither Ian Meierdiercks nor IM Wealth Partners make any guarantees or claims to provide legal, mortgage, accounting or tax-preparation advice. You should consult your tax and legal advisors for your specific situation.)
Securities offered through SA Stone Wealth Management Inc., Member FINRA, and SIPC. Advisory Services offered through SA Stone Investment Advisors Inc.