afhe’s mission is to be the leading resource for the on-going advancement, collaboration and education of practicing attorneys and other professionals who provide intra-disciplinary counsel to family-held enterprises.

The Leading Source of Intra-Disciplinary Counsel

"The afhe annual conference consistently provides the most relevant, quality programs of any event I've been to. I'd attend even if there was no CLE credit offered." --|-- "Programing was wonderful. Disappointed a few years ago about programing has really been upgraded. Will attend more often." --|-- "The meeting gets to the issues that are at the heart of good service to the family enterprises we serve." --|-- "The only way to understand value of a afhe conference is to attend and then look back a year later and see how it has changed your awareness and your professional engagements." --|-- "afhe continues to provide excellent educational and networking opportunities." --|-- "afhe continues to be my favorite conference and professional networking event." --|-- "Best content ever, great speakers" --|-- "Maybe the best afhe conference so far. Very substantive all the way across." --|-- "afhe has a unique conference focusing on great family business ideas." --|-- "Every year afhe conferences get better and better. I highly recommend attending afhe's conference if you have an interest in a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach relating to family enterprises." --|-- "This year's afhe conference was outstanding again. The depth of experience and practical steps learned from afhe's conference is unmatched. The true sense of openly sharing, collaboration and welcoming atmosphere is better than so many other conferences."


On Wednesday, April 6, the Department of Labor released the final version of its highly anticipated “fiduciary rule.” The final rule is the culmination of six years of study, commentary and revisions after the rule was initially proposed in October of 2010 (later withdrawn) and released again on April 20, 2015. The essence of the rule—to subject more advisers of employee benefit plan participants to the fiduciary standards of ERISA—remains unchanged from the 2015 proposal, but the Department of Labor made several key concessions to ease the burden on advisers.

More information is located HERE (PDF)



Selling a business is a lot like selling a home … except when it isn’t. 

By Mike McCarthy, CPA, CfP®, Mst

The scene is a familiar one on any number of cable television’s housing programs: pensive home sellers listen intently as hosts and remodeling experts alike expound on the efforts necessary to prepare their property for market. the advice isn’t too far afield of what awaits a business owner preparing for a sale: it’s important to be brutally honest about the current condition of the business, address potential trouble spots and make sure finances are in order.

Prospective buyers aren’t going to be worried about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, or the color of the paint in the master suite. Instead, they’ll focus on matters such as determining the value of the business, any risks involved in its purchase and whether or not it is complying with the proper regulations. Investing in the time and effort it takes to address these issues can help ensure the selling process is a smooth one that nets a higher final price. So let’s borrow a page from the home selling process and look at some of the steps you can take as part of the business selling process.
Begin with the end in mind. It’s not just a habit of highly successful people; Stephen Covey’s advice is something that home sellers consider at the very beginning of the sales process. After all, they’re not just moving from somewhere: they’re also moving to somewhere. So, where is it that you plan to move? What do you hope to achieve from the sale of your business? If the goal is to sell but remain with the company in a management capacity, you’ll likely focus on a few different aspects than if you plan to retire. For example, you might be happier taking a percentage of annual revenue than maximizing a one-time payout.

Go with a pro.

Everyone thinks his or her house is special. There are a lot of memories there; a lot of hard work, too. But the fact of the matter is that those memories and that hard work don’t matter to a prospective buyer. Cold, hard facts matter. Objectivity matters. Which is why having a business valuation may help identify the market value of your business. Like a residential real estate professional, a valuation professional will help you see beyond the rose-colored glasses of ownership to something much closer to reality.


Enhance your curb appeal.

I’m not talking about mowing the lawn, trimming the bushes or slapping on a fresh coat of paint. But just like those measures can make a house more appealing from a distance, selling your business requires a few steps to make sure prospective buyers don’t drive right on by. One of the first things a prospective buyer will request is the financials. High-level, full-disclosure financial statements will make the impression the business is well run. One such step is a financial audit or review. Some businesses conduct annual compilations rather than incur the expense of a full audit or a review, but now’s the time to incur that expense. (Depending on your business, an annual audit might be required, in which case you’re a step ahead of the game.) The audit isn’t just for prospective buyers; it can help uncover any issues you should address whether or not there’s a sale at all.

Referring to a due diligence checklist at this point is also a good idea. The checklist can help you gather up necessary documents and information, including internal management reports and memoranda, policy and procedures manuals, legal and regulatory compliance paperwork, and contracts and arrangements for supplies or services. This is comparable to homeowners having a home inspection conducted prior to placing their house on the market so that problems can be resolved before the buyer’s home inspector discovers them. Visit to download a convenient due diligence checklist.

Be prepared to fall in love again.

It happens. Once all of this work is done, you might decide that the issues you’ve addressed, along with any changes you’ve made, have made the business more appealing to you again. Even if it turns out that you simply could not get the asking price you wanted, the aforementioned steps have likely left you in a better position than you were in at the beginning of the process and able to more confidently lead your business into the future, with you still at the helm.