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Exit Planning, Succession Planning & Estate Planning - Similarities and Differences

Submitted by John Brown on Mon, 12/01/2014 - 10:28am

I recently came across a blog post from one of BEI’s Member Advisors, Don Feldman.  Don is the President and founder of Keystone Business Transitions based in Lancaster, PA and has worked for years with business owners as a CPA, valuation analyst and Certified Exit Planner.

The issue he addresses in his post answers a question owners often ask:  What’s the difference between succession planning, estate planning and exit planning?  My last two posts described four qualities of Exit Planners and ten questions owners can use to ferret out the Real McCoys.  Don’s post adds to that discussion.

Don distinguishes the three types of planning as follows:

Succession planning, exit planning and estate planning all overlap but each has a separate focus.

Succession planning is primarily focused on the continued strength of the business.

Exit planning focuses on how business owners will leave their businesses and their personal situation after they exit.

Estate planning focuses on the disposition of assets during the owner’s life and at death.

Exit planning is the most comprehensive approach for business owners because it requires full consideration of both succession planning and estate planning, issues necessary to achieve all of their objectives.

Go to this article to read Don’s complete post.