The Disney – Lucasfilm Merger and its Lessons for Financial Planning

Lucas and his team of financial advisors

Charles Sizemore gave his thoughts to the Wall Steet Journal’s Quentin Fottrell on George Lucas’ decision to sell his Star Wars film empire to Disney ($DIS) for  $4.05 billion in cash and stock and what its implications are for financial and estate planning:

By cashing out now, experts say the filmmaker spared his family the need to pick up the pieces of his empire after he’s gone. It also allows him to focus his remaining years on his charitable endeavors – particularly Edutopia and the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which he founded in 1991. “I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education,” Lucas wrote in 2010 (pdf) on GivingPledge.com , which invites the world’s wealthiest people to commit most of their money to philanthropy.

Since none of Lucas’s three adopted children plan to take over his film empire, financial advisers say the strategy will save his heirs the the responsibility of managing their inheritance – and potentially going through the often long and fraught process of dividing it…

Of course, Lucas is far wealthier than the average American business owner. “With smaller mom-and-pop businesses [this kind of planning] can be more complicated,” says Charles Sizemore, a financial adviser based in Dallas, Tx. The owner of a restaurant or a landscaping business probably won’t have the option of selling to a Fortune 500 company, he says. “They may have to bring on a junior partner or work out a royalty arrangement with a new buyer,” he says.

To read full article see “George Lucas Jedi Estate Planning

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