Getting a Hand for Business Succession and Estate Planning

Getting a Hand for Business Succession and Estate Planning

For many business owners, their work is their lifeblood. But they may not be as knowledgeable about managing their personal investments. And when there’s a business transition, business and personal finances often collide.

When their businesses were in transition, two business owners turned to Regions for investing and estate planning guidance, in addition to the advice they were already receiving as commercial banking clients.

As astute as owners are about their own operations, they may not have much depth in managing their personal investments. And when there’s a business transition, business and personal finances often collide.

When a large company approached the owner of a seafood distributor in Orlando, Florida, to buy his business, he knew the offer was too good to pass up.

For the owner, the financial challenge was providing an inheritance for his young son without thwarting his ambitions. “Understandably, he wanted him to build his own career and goals,” says Erik Bonnett, Vice President and Trust Advisor for Regions Private Wealth Management. After his work with Regions, the client’s estate plan now includes an irrevocable trust for his son that, after the client’s death, will become a lifetime trust.

In another case, the president of a vinyl products and flooring manufacturing company in northwestern Georgia wanted to transfer the business to his son, explains Jim Halverson, Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking with Regions.

“He knew he had the business succession need, but I think it was overwhelming for him to try to deal with it,” Halverson says.

In addition, the client needed help providing wealth equalization for his other two children, who do not work at his company. With Regions, he developed a road map to help him achieve his objectives. This includes the future transition of his company to his son, through a stock transfer, and an estate plan that has been adjusted to ensure equal treatment for all of his children.

Learning the Ropes on Investing

For both Regions clients, what began as commercial banking relationships turned into deeper connections.

For 30 years, the seafood business owner had reinvested his profits into the business and was wary about investing in equities. But after reviewing the client’s financial goals and risk profile, the Regions team educated him about balanced investing and split his portfolio between equities and municipal bonds.

Comparatively, the manufacturing company president kept two-thirds of his wealth in cash, according to Kim Churchill, Vice President and Wealth Advisor for Regions Private Wealth Management. Churchill and her colleagues explained that his investment portfolio could withstand more risk—and now his portfolio is balanced between equities and fixed income.

Because of its wealth of resources, Regions was able to help these business owners successfully navigate the complexities of taxes, investing and estate planning that come with any business transition.


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This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.