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Top Lawyers Q&A: Tim Brynteson, Managing Partner with Otis & Bedingfield LLC

1. How do you remain personally well-informed on estate-planning and business-succession issues?

Through professional journals, continuing education classes and just paying attention to current issues and possible changes in laws or new strategies.  Plus, networking with other professionals in the same field.

2. What are the biggest issues that business owners face in terms of succession planning?

The single biggest issue is finding the right successor, whether a key employee, a family member or third-party purchaser.  This is followed closely, in particular if the succession plan is a key employee or family member, of structuring the financial aspects of the succession that minimizes the risk to the current owner and provides an effective opportunity to the successor.

3.  In addition to law, you have extensive experience in managing a business, specifically a car dealership. How does that experience inform your practice of law?

I think it is really understanding, at an experiential level, both the practical and emotional challenges of leading and managing a business.   The legal knowledge and experience are of course very important to bring to various aspects of transactions and succession planning – but I find my experience of the day-to-day work of delivering a product to customers, managing cash-flow, scheduling, hiring, marketing, people management, etc. brings a perspective that helps me integrate my legal understanding more effectively to help clients.

4. You are active with several boards and nonprofits. Why is that important for you professionally and personally?

Part of it is just a commitment to doing what I can to help in my community and putting my shoulder to the wheel by being a resource to boards is a way I can do that.  I also really enjoy both meeting the people that are running and staffing these organizations and love learning more about how critical these organizations are to the health of our communities and the well-being of so many community members.  Professionally, meeting both the leaders of the non-profits and other community volunteers and leaders helps me in my job as a lawyer.  Many times, our job is to help solve a problem and many times, the “problem” isn’t always just a legal problem and having a network of other people and a deeper understanding of the various resources in our communities helps me do that.

5. If you were not a lawyer, what would you be doing?

I love history and reading philosophy and fancy I would have enjoyed teaching college.  This is what my father did and I grew up on college campuses.   

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Source: BizWest