Success Stories

Shawano Auto Sales: Maintaining Family Ownership and Harmony

Transferring ownership in a tax-efficient manner.

Shawano Auto Sales
Earl Roloff, Owner
"We have been well represented by Wipfli since 1970. They are knowledgeable and professional in all aspects of running a successful business operation."
 

handing over the keys

Situation

Shawano Auto Sales, a longtime client of Wipfli, wished to set up a program that would transfer the ownership of the dealership to their children in a tax-efficient manner over a set number of years.

Strategy

The auto dealer experts at Wipfli guided and assisted the client in setting up a succession and estate plan that included the owners and their children. All family members were actively involved and were employed at the dealership. This is a very rare occurrence in any industry and posed a number of interesting challenges, including:

  • Maintaining family harmony
  • Identifying the issue at hand, which was transferring the ownership (without "paralyzing" the dealership) by  meeting with the owners and exploring their options
  • Setting up a team of Wipfli experts to review the options and going back to the client with a more focused set of goals
  • Meeting with the family and fielding questions to further explain the plan and the process
  • Assisting the client in choosing a final option
  • Coordinating the implementation of the plan and process
  • Continuing with ongoing follow-up and preparation of tax returns

Benefits

The Wipfli auto dealership team was able to assist the client in creating the succession and estate plan to guide the client through a smooth ownership transition when the time was appropriate. Wipfli continues to assist the dealership with improving operation, performance, and growth, along with their year-end, corporate, and individual tax returns.