Why I Am Not A Funeral Home Broker

Jack B. Stalk has a special goose. His goose lays a single golden egg every year. That annual egg has enabled Jack to live in a nice home, drive a luxury car, take nice vacations, eat well, put his four kids through college and be a well-respected member of the community.

One day a goose broker approaches Jack and his wife, Edith, saying, “I think I could get someone to give you seven golden eggs for that goose.”

Jack and Edith had never seen that many eggs in one place before. They were excited and gave the broker permission to find a buyer. He did better than expected and got eight eggs. Of course, Jack and Edith could only keep six after they paid the broker fees and sent Uncle Sam his share. Nevertheless, they had more eggs than they had ever had at one time.

Unfortunately, Jack and Edith soon discovered that they couldn’t maintain their lifestyle without eating some of the eggs. Worse, consuming an egg meant they had to eat even more eggs. Six eggs wouldn’t last their lifetime.

Here is the difference:

Tom Lynch once said:

“A good funeral is one that gets the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be.”

To paraphrase Tom:

“A good Succession Plan is one that focuses first on where you need to be and then, when it’s time to sell, on getting the best price with the most efficient tax structure.”

A broker’s job is to sell your goose for the most eggs in a one – time event. A noble goal but, in my opinion, freezing egg production doesn’t meet the real needs of most owners.

In a sense, as a Certified Exit Planner, I am more concerned with where clients need to be. This means considering the whole picture:

  • Your current and future financial needs
  • The value of your goose (now and in the future)
  • Replacing annual egg production rather than a one-time egg harvest

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