When I was a teenager enamored with clothes shopping, my mother would often take me to the Loehmann’s store in Brooklyn (near our home). She prided herself on paying the lowest amount for an item as compared to the suggested retail price. If I needed a dress for a special occasion, we’d excitedly head towards the coveted “Back Room” where they had the designer outfits. Although I wasn’t a big fan of the communal dressings rooms, I did bond with my mom while sorting through the racks and finding that perfect dress at a rock-bottom price. So, it was with a heavy heart that I learned last year that this once very successful family business had closed its doors for good. If only we’d published Fredda Herz Brown’s article, “Evolving in Changing Times,” p. 35, a little earlier, maybe Loehmann’s would have stood a chance. That article explains how a family can sustain its business as the world around it changes.
For those of us advising family businesses that are still out there, Fredda’s article, as well as the others in our Family Businesses Committee Report, provides invaluable information. “Selling the Family Business,” by David Thayne Leibell, p. 25, shows how thoughtful planning in the years prior to the sale can minimize family conflict. And, “Listening to the Unspoken,” p. 29, by Gregory T. Rogers, G. Scott Budge and Lauris S. Lambergs, reviews the process of selecting the right wealth advisor for a family business.
In addition, I’m pleased to announce that Jonathan G. Blattmachr has joined our editorial advisory board and will serve on The Modern Practice committee. Jonathan is director of estate planning for the Alaska Trust Company, a director of Pioneer Wealth Partners, LLC and editor in chief for InterActive Legal.
And, on a sadder note, we at Trusts & Estates mourn the passing of Douglas Moore, a mentor and one of the most valued members of our advisory board (p. 43).