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Business Succession Planning

We take a big picture approach to tailoring a complete family wealth transition package to safeguard the financial future for our clients’ families, including preparing for the transition of the ownership of their business interests.

How we can help

  • Family Business Advisory Services
  • Business Succession
  • Asset Protection and Trusts
  • Wills and Testamentary Trusts

Expertise

Putting in place a carefully considered family wealth transition package, including a detailed business succession plan and appropriately drafted wills, gives our clients the peace of mind that their families are adequately prepared for the future. A family wealth transition package will provide the next generation with clarity over how and when family wealth will be transitioned, their level of involvement in financial management and resolve how the family wealth is proportioned.

In our experience, many business owners fail to consider the future of their business appropriately or sufficiently when it comes to their own retirement, illness, injury, or death or for a similar occurrence with their business partner or partners. We work with our clients to create a business succession plan well in advance of any change in leadership, whether expected or unexpected, so that a transition strategy is in place that eliminates conflict, minimises disruption, and ensures the business is left in capable hands.

Often, we find that a client’s will is inconsistent with their intended business succession plan. For example, we have previously assisted clients in circumstances where their will leaves all assets jointly to the next generation rather than identifying specific assets to be transferred to the children involved in the business, along with provisions made for children uninvolved with the business. A failure to correctly align the will and the ownership of assets can have adverse stamp duty implications as well as create tensions between family members. Many of our clients are business owners that have worked most of their lives to build successful businesses.

Our goal is to assist them in maintaining a high level of satisfaction and significant wealth for their families. If a business owner intends to pass their business on to the next generation, we can help them do so with a minimum of cost and familial conflict. However, we can also assist clients in instances when issues have arisen as a result of the failure of a business owner to plan ahead.

SWS Lawyers works with families to plan for both the successful transition of ownership of their business and for the comfortable retirement of the aging generation. As part of this planning, we offer services such as:

  • providing advice on and drafting key legal documents such as trust deeds, family charters, wills, powers of attorney, and testamentary trusts;
  • engaging with relevant stakeholders, establishing and formalising corporate governance and family oversight, and facilitating a formal process for identifying and resolving family conflicts;
  • developing an appropriate business transition plan which avoids risk, minimises conflict and disruption, and allows to a smooth intergenerational change; and
  • liaising with insurance brokers and tax professionals for specialist business planning and family financial advice.

Their approach is always professional and delivered at a standard comparable to a capital city law firm. It is the clear strategic direction that has always impressed me about the SWS team.

-Director, Top 10 Australian Accounting Firm

We believe their ability to combine first rate legal expertise, commercial judgement and strong negotiating skills is rare amongst lawyers and provides us with a real competitive advantage in corporate transactions. We use SWS because of their ability, not their post code.

-Robert Radcliffe-Smith, Advent

The combination of rare legal expertise, commercial judgement and strong negotiating skills is rare amongst lawyers and provides us with a real competitive advantage in corporate transactions.

-Paul Valaire, Addcar

SWS has assisted with advice on securing and exercising complex property and commercial contractual rights and assisting with protracted contractual management and implementation. We value legal experts who can offer pragmatic and commercial legal solutions for our complicated matters. SWS Lawyers has consistently met these criteria.

-Leading AU/NZ Logistics Company

The team at SWS Lawyers have already showcased their professionalism, commitment, positive can-do attitude and insight into our needs and have a clear understanding of the disability sector.

-Garry West-Bail, Deaf Sports Australia
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