A Complex Estate

Janet was in her late 60s when she found herself at the head of the substantial and complex estate that her husband had managed alone. She and her adult children, all stakeholders, were in a state of confusion about how it worked and where each of them fit in.

One large estate held by multiple stakeholders and made up of many
moving parts—as an entity, it was a complete mystery to everyone involved.

In partnership with the family’s legal advisors, Granite Financial Partners was asked to make sense of the estate plan, including sophisticated investments, privately owned business interests, real estate, trusts, royalty income and intellectual capital.

After private meetings to learn what each person needed to feel comfortable and then skillfully dissecting the estate, GFP applied a little out-of- the-box thinking to the collective family office in the way of a flow chart. Seeing how all of the pieces fit together created an environment of stability and trust the family didn’t imagine possible. It also revealed the husband’s hard work and the exceptional planning of his advisors, who’d saved $370,000 in estate taxes, fostering a deep sense of gratitude for the gift they had received.

Making It Work for Everyone

Maybe you’re like Mr. and Mrs. Engel. They’ve been working long hours in their clothing and manufacturer’s rep business for almost 40 years and were ready to move on. Before they made the transition, though, they would spend three years collaborating with their son and daughter-in-law to make sure taking over the business was something the children wanted to do. Then they hit a wall.

The challenge, they realized, was not whether the kids could run the business but how they could structure it in a way that would maintain their lifestyle while also providing for the next generation. So, the family asked their advisors, “How can we set up the transfer of our business so that we’re all happy, healthy and getting along?” None had a workable solution, though they had a feeling that we might. Granite Financial Partners brought to bear its hallmark problem-solving ability to uncover a three-part approach:

Part 1 – Determine exactly what Mr. & Mrs. Engel wanted for the next phase of their lives, and what they needed to feel secure enough to retire.
Part 2 – Be certain that their son and daughter-in-law really saw themselves in the business and get clear about their career goals.
Part 3 – Uniquely structure the sale of the business to ensure appropriate use of capital so the deal could go through.

No Clear Leader

No Clear Leader. Six owners. Six officers. All related.

As a third-generation owner, Mom had seen her family business evolve from the days when her father, a leading authority on migratory waterfowl, collected exotic birds—a passion he shared with his father who ran a dairy and poultry farm. Since then, Mom, her husband and her brothers have taken turns at the helm building what is now New England’s largest live animal farm. But Mom, who had to quickly learn the business when her husband died, was unclear how she would make a tax-efficient transfer to the next generation while also ensuring continued financial growth for the $5-million per-year business.

“All five of the children had grown up in the business, but none was its clear leader.”

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