I’m writing this note on Valentine’s Day, one of the most romantic days of the year. As I walked to work today, I passed waiting on long lines at the florists and chocolate shops, presumably to buy special gifts for their loved ones. Everyone seemed so happy and optimistic, never imagining that someone who’s a loved one today may not be so loved a few years from now. And that can cause complications when it comes to family businesses. As David Thayne Leibell and Daniel L. Daniels explain in “Divorce and the Family Business,” p. 44, it’s important to take protective steps in advance to avoid collateral damage in case of a later divorce. Changes in relationships may also lead to situations the parties never envisioned. Joshua M. Baron and Marion McCollom Hampton explore this issue in “The Unintended Consequences of Ownership Transfer Planning,” p. 52. Sometimes, it may be necessary to bring a non-family member into the business. In his article, “Integrating a Non-Family CEO Into the Family Business,” p. 48, G. Scott Budge discusses when families may need to consider this step and how to undertake this process.
I also want to acknowledge some changes to our editorial advisory board. William H. Frazier has stepped down from the Valuations committee. We thank him for his contributions over the years, including the many articles he’s written for the magazine, as well as his participation in our webinars. In addition, Michelle L. Ward, a partner at Keebler & Associates LLP in Green Bay, Wisc. is now a member of the Benefits committee. Her practice focuses on retirement distribution planning. She also analyzes trusts for designated beneficiary status, as well as prepares private letter ruling requests and specimen retirement planning documents.