Business Succession Planning with Steven Goodman

Feb 3, 2021

For more than 30 years, Steven Goodman, President, and CEO of SGH Planning have provided insightful solutions to the challenges of business succession, wealth preservation, retirement, and charitable planning. He currently services hundreds of clients, focusing on the needs of owners of closely held businesses and high net worth individuals.

Steven is the author of Business Succession Planning: A Guide to Transfers, Sales, Family Harmony, and Minimizing Litigation. He also has written numerous articles for leading trade journals and his accomplishments have brought the attention of such publications as the New York Times. He has paired with some of the most respected names in banking and finance to sponsor some 150 seminars about business succession and wealth preservation. On top of all these accomplishments, Steven is also a CPA, who was Vice President of the trust and investment division of JPMorgan Chase and a supervisor for KPMG, Peat Marwick.

He also holds an MBA from Fordham University and, in addition to his work with SHG Planning, he has been a Big Brother for the last 15 years and is very passionate about supporting charities that fund the education of underprivileged children. In this episode, you will hear from Steven as he shares his advice for planning the succession of your business, getting life insurance that suits your needs, and establishing wills and trusts, so make sure to tune in today!


What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Obstacles family businesses encounter when planning for the succession of their business.
  • The methods that Steven uses to help business owners navigate these obstacles.
  • Steven addresses the effect on a family unit when the leader or CEO of a family business falls ill or suddenly passes away.
  • Steven explains how people have (or haven’t) become more proactive in the era of COVID.
  • Hear Steven’s advice about life insurance and why not everybody needs insurance.
  • Those that 100% should have life insurance: young parents and primary income earners.
  • For those that are really wealthy, they can live comfortably off their assets, but there are also the perils of estate tax.
  • The questions you should be asking insurance brokers, like “Are you a broker or an agent?”
  • A lot of times, the financial products you’re sold won’t suit your needs; figure out what works.
  • While Steven recommends working with a broker, it doesn’t mean all brokers are trustworthy!
  • Hear the differences between life insurance offerings and how to avoid being underinsured.
  • Steven makes an analogy with investment; you don’t put all your money into one stock, so make sure you diversify your life insurance.
  • Some of the common mistakes Steven sees people make when establishing wills and trusts.
  • Picking a guardian for your children and a trustee: Steven goes over whether or not it should be the same person.
  • Steven cautions that people do stupid things when money comes into play; it’s human nature.
  • Why Steven recommends his clients revisit their estate plans or wills every three to five years.
  • Steven’s final bit of advice is to allocate a certain amount of time each year to planning for the future.



“Everybody has a plan. Even when you don’t plan, you have a plan.” — Steven Goodman [0:07:49]

“For young people today, who make a nice amount of money but don’t save a lot, you need a lot of insurance because you can’t earn anything on your money today and you need to protect your family.” — Steven Goodman [0:26:25]

“Life insurance is no different than investment. Nobody puts all their money in IBM or Apple or Google. Nobody puts all their money in the stock market. Nobody puts all their money in technology stocks. You diversify.” — Steven Goodman [0:36:25]

“When you’re younger, maybe [checking your will every] three to five years is fine. As you get older, maybe you want to look every three years..” — Steven Goodman [0:50:12]


Facebook Posts:

“All the stuff that has priority when you’re healthy and business is doing well, you push things off into the future. If you are sick and you feel there’s a reasonable chance that you’re not going to survive this, then almost anybody in those circumstances will start to prioritize planning because they know they have to take care of it.” — Steven Goodman [0:15:36]

“You definitely need to be cognizant. Clearly, getting references, referrals from people that you trust, getting it from your accountant, or your lawyer, or family, or friends that you respect [is] important.” — Steven Goodman [0:31:51]

“If you have somebody that’s much wealthier than you and you’re leaving them your kids, I don’t have any problem putting them in charge of the money, because they’re probably very financially astute. But if you’re leaving your children to somebody who has less money than you, you either should leave them certain things to compensate for that, or you probably should pick them and somebody else as trustee and executive.” — Steven Goodman [0:46:05]


Additional Resources:







Links Mentioned:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America:


Sharon Spano: