A Boutique Trusts & Estates Law Firm

Estate planning for the business owner

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Samsung Electronics began in 1938 as a dried fish and produce company in South Korea. Today, it is a worldwide conglomerate that is engaged in manufacturing electronics and military equipment, as well as providing other goods and services. When founder Lee Byung Chul died in 1987, he passed his business onto his son, Lee Kun Hee.

Twenty-five years after his father’s death, Lee Kun Hee is being sued by his siblings for allegedly hiding company assets during the distribution of their father’s estate.

Even if your business does not yet have the worldwide reach of Samsung, estate planning and business succession planning go hand-in-hand for businesses of all sizes. With proper planning, the transition of your business to the next generation can be a worry-free process.

The first step in the process is to assemble a great team to make your business transfer planning proceed smoothly. Your estate planning attorney will need to coordinate with a business attorney and possibly a financial advisor, among others. This may seem cumbersome, but it is essential that the transition of your business be well coordinated.

Next, you need to have a qualified professional appraise your business. Appraising your business will give you and your team an idea of what your needs are and the best method to preserve the business you have spent your life building.

Third, you need to have a strategy for leaving the business. Would you try to sell your business to a third party? Are you considering transferring the business to a current employee? Or, would you like to transfer the business to your family? Each of these methods requires different strategies to make the transfer trouble-free and effective.

Fourth, you should review the documents you used to form your business. These documents may include a provision for the transfer of the business after your death, called a “buy-sell” agreement. A typical buy-sell agreement provides that the other owners of the business have the opportunity to buy out your share of the business before it is offered for sale to other buyers. Buy-sell agreements are important because without them, you might end up as a business partner with your deceased business partner’s spouse, children, or other heirs.

Last, your team must evaluate whether the state or federal government will impose estate tax on the transfer of your business at your death. If you plan on passing the business at your death without adequate consideration and the business’ value is in excess of the estate tax exemption amount (currently $5.12 million in 2012 at the federal level, not accounting for portability), your beneficiaries will have to pay estate taxes on the business. In the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia, estate tax is assessed on assets exceeding $1 million. If the tax on your business is in excess of your liquid assets, your family may have to sell the business in order to pay the tax. However, there are ways to avoid the sale of your business in this situation.

For a common sense approach to your complex business succession and estate planning issues, contact Frankel Sims Law at (410) 828-7775.


For Immediate Release

Contact: Jane Frankel Sims


Contact: Frank Campbell


Sims & Campbell Estates and Trusts

Frankel Sims Law and Holden & Campbell
Merge to Form Sims & Campbell

Firm will offer comprehensive Trusts & Estates services through offices in Towson and Annapolis

TOWSON, Md. (April 26,2019)  Frankel Sims Law and Holden & Campbell have jointly announced the merger of their firms to create a boutique Trusts & Estates law firm providing comprehensive services in the fields of Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Trust Administration and Charitable Giving. The combined firm will be named Sims & Campbell and have offices in Towson, Md. and Annapolis, Md.  Jane Frankel Sims and Frank Campbell will lead and hold equal ownership stakes in the firm.

Sims & Campbell will have 9 attorneys and 15 legal professionals that handle every facet of estate and wealth transfer planning, including wills, revocable living trusts, irrevocable trusts, estate and gift tax advice, and charitable giving strategies.  The firm will focus solely on Trusts & Estates but will serve a wide range of clients, from young families with modest resources to ultra-high net worth individuals.  This allows clients to remain with the firm as their level of wealth and the complexity of related estate and tax implications change over time. 

“By joining forces, we have expanded our footprint to conveniently serve clients in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia” said Jane Frankel Sims.  We are seeing some of the greatest wealth transfer in our country’s history, and we want to continue to be on the leading edge of helping our clients maintain and enhance their family’s wealth.  In addition, we aim to serve our clients for years to come, and the new firm structure will allow Sims & Campbell to thrive even after Frank and I have retired.”    

“Jane and I have always admired each other’s firms and recognized the need to provide even greater depth and breadth of focused expertise to help families amass and protect their wealth from generation to generation,” said Frank Campbell.  “Now we have even greater capabilities to make a real difference for our clients.” 

The Sims & Campbell Towson office is located at 500 York Road, on the corner of York Road and Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of Towson.  The Annapolis office is currently located at 716 Melvin Avenue, and is moving to 181 Truman Parkway in August, 2019.  For more information, visit www.simscampbell.law.