This form of model request for documents and information to assist lawyers in advising their clients on family business succession planning comes from The Lawyer’s Guide to Family Business Succession Planning: A Step-by-Step Approach for Lawyers, Business Owners, and Advisors by Gregory Monday.
Once a lawyer has been retained as counsel for one or more business entities and/or one owner or a group of owners, that lawyer should (i) send engagement letters and seek client consent for conflicts, as described in section 2.1.7 of The Lawyers Guide, and (ii) request from the clients all relevant information and documents (as set forth in this model request) to allow the lawyer to fully understand the clients’ circumstances, needs, and wants in order to help them accomplish their objectives. To that end, having the clients deliver such documents in an electronic format will almost always be the most efficient and cost-effective method for all parties concerned. Further, original documents are not necessary if the lawyer receives reasonably reliable copies. For example, the lawyer generally should not rely on unsigned or unrecorded (if recording is a requirement for effectiveness) copies of legal documents, or copies that do not otherwise have indicia of being enforceable documents, unless a draft document is intentionally being sought as a reference point.
The Lawyer’s Guide to Family Business Succession Planning is written for lawyers who represent family businesses and their owners, but this material can be read, understood, and used by family business owners and their other key advisors.