Partnership and Shareholder Agreements – Going to the Quick

Peter Welsh Law Partnership and Shareholder AgreementsIn nearly 40 years of practice, we have found the absence of partnership agreements or shareholder’s agreements has been the foundation of some unnecessary and usually vitriolic litigation.  Sometimes the litigation results in the demise of the entity, but in every case, the costs are more than significant, far dwarfing the costs of preparing an agreement in the first place.

We have repeatedly found, as well, a simple outline to introduce what is required which can be of significant assistance as business persons start up their relationship. 

We’ve reduced these key points to the following:

  • The 3 G’s

  • The 4 M’s

  • The 5 (or more) D’s

What does this mean?

It is simply this:  the 3 G’s mean “Getting in/Getting along/Getting out.”
The 4 M’s mean: “Money in/More Money in/Money out and Management.”
The 5 D’s mean:  “Death/Disability/Dissolution/Disaster/Desire (to leave)” (and a whole host of other words starting with “D”.)

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Family Business Succession Planning

Welsh Law Family Business Succession PlanningThe majority of all businesses in Canada are family owned.  Yet, surprisingly, according to the Canadian Association of Family Enterprises, 70% of family businesses do not make it to the 2nd generation and an astonishing 90% do not make it to the 3rd generation.

The largest asset of most families is their business and an appropriate succession plan to preserve that asset is self-evident.

Family business succession planning is not restricted to the preparation of Wills or Powers of Attorney.  On the contrary, while those are part of the process to successfully transfer a family business, a much more significant issue is the identification of the appropriate Senior Management to perpetuate the family business.

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Estate Planning

Welsh Law Estate Planning

The concept of Estate Planning involves the most tax effective and least cost manner for the passage upon death or, even before death, of the assets of a person to another person or persons selected to receive them.  The process involves an examination of what the assets are and to whom they should go at the choice of their owner.  An assessment or catalogue of what the assets are is the first step in the formulation of an Estate Plan.  Any real estate must be looked at rather specifically.  The manner by which title is held will determine even whether any real estate is part of an Estate.  Similarly, investments, bank accounts, life insurance, retirement plans and pensions may or may not (depending on the manner of registration and any designation of any beneficiary) form part of an Estate.

To help with this process, our office prepared an Estate Planning Guide you can download.  The Guide not only informs you of the issues you should consider, but also includes an outline to assist your solicitor in the preparation of the most advantageous distribution of your assets.

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The Age of Technology – at my age!

The Art of TechnologyIt was probably 1998, just 14 years ago, I was asked by our Office Manager whether I had any need for a computer.  Frankly, I declined; couldn’t see any benefit whatever in terms of my own use even though my then Secretary had a computer for Word Processing.  Shortly after, I was asked if I had an interest in emails.  My then clients were predominantly banks who were notorious in their apprehension that any email communication could somehow erode the inner sanctum of their vaults; again, I declined.  Finally I was asked if I had any appetite for access to the Internet.  “What would I use that for?” I asked.

My goodness, have things changed.  Today, our entire office is online operating multiple programs at the same moment.  We could not survive without instantaneous email.  Our research resources are more dependent upon Internet than our library connections. Our clients seek exchanges of information with us via email.  Even in preference to any fax system and certainly not hardcopy by “snail mail”.

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