Is your buy-sell agreement doing its job?
Abstract: A buy-sell agreement should be a fundamental part of an estate plan for those who own an interest in a family or closely held business. After a “triggering event,” it gives the company or the remaining owners the right or the obligation to buy a departing owner’s interest. But a buy-sell agreement can take the form of a cross-purchase or a redemption agreement (or a hybrid of the two). The right type of agreement and the specific provisions that should be included depend on several tax and practical business factors involving taxes, management control and valuation. A sidebar to this article lists the criteria necessary for a buy-sell agreement to establish the value of a business interest for estate tax purposes.