The owner of a successful drug manufacturing company sought a succession plan that would allow for his two young children to someday be involved in the business. The owner’s existing estate plan provided for all assets to pass outright to his children upon his death, which was a disincentive to a key employee whom the owner hoped to retain.
Part of the business was sold to an irrevocable trust for the benefit of the key employee, who is provided a voice in management if desired. The owner transferred non-voting interests in the business by gift and/or sale to irrevocable trusts for the children, thus allowing all future appreciation in the business to escape estate taxes. A revocable trust was revised to provide that assets passing to the children will stay in trusts for their lifetimes to provide creditor and divorce protection.