Dennis & Susie, the Business Owners
65 & 62
Pass on their family business to their sons, ensure that their children are treated fairly in the estate plan, have a strategy for paying estate taxes.
Dennis and Susie Stockwell have two great passions in life: their 4 children and their family business. Dennis had grown the plastics manufacturing company he inherited from his father into a national distributor. It had expanded precipitously under Dennis’ management and he was now looking forward to passing it on to his two sons, Tim and Jeff.
Tim, having worked in the family business starting right out of high school, was set to have a majority share in the business, while Jeff who had worked elsewhere before coming back to the family business would still receive an ownership stake but would be a minority owner to his brother Tim.
Susie’s biggest concern was how she and Dennis could be “fair” to their two daughters Robin and Julie, when it came to distributing their estate. Like most parents she imagined that fair meant equal, but Dennis knew from his conversations with Robin and Julie that his daughters had no interest in being a part of the family business. Consequently, Dennis and Susie had to come to a solution of how to make things fair within their estate plan.Finally, both Dennis and Susie were worried about the estate taxes that would come due at their passing under their current plan. Susie didn’t like the implications that had for their children because it would add an unnecessary headache to the entire situation and Dennis was concerned that Tim and Jeff would have to sell part or all of the business just to pay the estate taxes. This is where we began our conversations with Dennis and Susie.