First the good news: a recent survey found that 71% of small-business owners had set up a business-continuation plan to protect their companies in the event of their death. Now the bad: most plans depended on valuations done by owners themselves or other insiders instead of on independent assessments. With estate taxes running as high as 55%, that's simply too risky.
Who provided the company valuation included in your business-continuation plan? (by percentage of respondents)
Certified public accountant 37%
Don't know 3%
Source: "Phoenix Home Life Fiscal Fitness Survey," Yankelovich Partners, Norwalk, Conn., 1994.* * *