It’s summer, and the last thing you want to be thinking about is estate and succession planning – or is it?

In our experience, the fall business season is chock-a-block full of business development, hiring, training and the launch of new products – this flurry of activity culminates with the Holiday Season.  Estate and succession planning in the fall is often relegated to the back burner.  Maybe this summer is a great time to start thinking about what you’re going to do with your business and how all this fits in with your family.  Heady stuff for sipping a G&T on your  deck.

So, here are two things – our list of opportunities to start thinking about, and your summer reading and viewing list.

Things to think about while sipping a G&T:

  • Reflect on the past year. What is a successful year both financially and personally?
  • What are my personal and business goals and objectives? Goals and objectives change with age.
  • Does my current estate plan align with my goals and objectives?  They can quickly get out of sync in our fast paced world.
  • Maybe start a conversation with the family.  Nothing like a camp fire, Smores and “what does the future look like” conversation.

Remember, it takes a few years to get a business ready for sale and even longer for succession.  Also, to maximize value, the business should be in growth mode – which takes a lot of energy to keep everything going in the right direction.  So, when do you want to start?

The CV TrustCo team’s summer reading and watching picks:

  • Beer Money by Frances Stroh “Detroit’s iconic Stroh’s beer company got big and collapsed in the late 20th Century. Frances Stroh tells of her family’s privilege, self-indulgence and dysfunction — a tale of decline that parallels the story of the city where it made its name.”
  • Brick by Brick: How LEGO Rewrote the Rules of Innovation and Conquered the Global Toy Industry by David Robertson with Bill Breen “By following the teams that are inventing some of the world’s best-loved toys, it spotlights the company’s disciplined approach to harnessing creativity and recounts one of the most remarkable business transformations in recent memory.”
  • The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney “Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional.”
  • Netflix: Bloodline “Sometimes you know something’s coming. You can feel it. In the air. In your gut. And you don’t sleep at night. The voice in your head is telling you that something is going to go terribly wrong and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. That’s how I felt when my brother came home.”

We’d like to conclude with the lyrics of Summertime – the 1934 George Gershwin song, immortalized by first Billie Holiday and later Ella Fitzgerald.  Oh, and don’t forget Janis Joplin’s version:

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good-lookin’


We will be back to you in September –have a great summer!