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In the right situation, an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (“ESOP”) can be an effective business succession planning tool for helping owners of closely-held businesses successfully exit the business while preserving the future viability of the business. Furthermore, when an ESOP exit strategy is properly coordinated with the owner’s estate plan, the cost of transferring wealth to the next generation can be signifi cantly reduced. On the business side, an ESOP can help motivate employees, increase productivity, allow employees to acquire an ownership interest in the business and increase the value of the business.

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