I am the owner of an estate planning practice in northwest suburbs of Chicago. I have two associates and for staff members. I am sixty seven and would like to retire when I am 70 (3 years). I have no idea as to where I should start and the approach I should take. I would appreciate suggestions.
Sole owner firms and solo practitioners face a real challenge when deciding what to do with their practices. While many of the issues are similar to those faced by multi owner firms, sole owners and solo practitioners must also face the following additional challenges:
As with multi owner firms the key is to start early and not wait until the last minute. I suggest that you put in place your succession/exit plan as soon as possible – not just for retirement but for unexpected situations as well – so that your family, employees and clients are not left in the dark if something should happen to you.
Just because you have associates – don't assume they want to be owners and own a law firms. Look into this early as it may impact your hiring strategy as well as your overall strategy and whether it will be an internal vs. external succession strategy.
John W. Olmstead, MBA, Ph.D, CMC