Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM PDT
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Central Valley SCORE 
801 R Street Ste 201
Fresno, CA 93721

Driving Directions 


Kristina Gonzalez (Hablo Español) 
SCORE- Counselors to America's Small Business 
559-487-5791 ext 2719 

Exit Strategy & Succession Planning


The statistics on businesses surviving through multiple generations are staggering. Just making it through the second generation is a milestone event for a business. Making it through the third generation is rare and making it to the fourth generation is almost unheard of. The good news is business owners can buck these trends with proper planning. 

Succession Planning

This workshop begins by helping entrepreneurs understand the steps to planning for the eventual transfer of the business. This includes knowing the value of the business, choosing and preparing the appropriate successor, and having it all in writing. At the end of this section, clients should be prepared for a variety of business exit strategies both voluntary and involuntary ones.

Retirement Planning

Once clients have determined the next steps for their business and their business’ worth, they can start focusing on the next steps in their own lives. In this section, we will discuss issues that arising with having your business be your retirement planning, and other options to save and provide for your retirement.  

Estate Planning

Ultimately, this workshop will culminate discussing multiple future planning scenarios, including the difference between estate reduction, liquidity and equalization, and the planning documents needed to  leave a lasting legacy. It is never too early to start planning ahead!

Hear from the Expert, Laura E. Ward

Laura E. Ward is an owner at Ward Legal, Inc. Her practice focuses on general transactional corporate and personal estate planning, with a specialization in employee benefits and healthcare law. Ms. Ward routinely advises business clients on for-profit and non-profit entity planning and formation, contracting, purchase and sale agreements, and with operational, governance and compliance issues. She counsels employers, trustees, TPAs, and plan sponsors on tax and ERISA law governing defined benefit plans, defined contribution plans, and health and welfare plans. Ms. Ward regularly advises clients on benefit plan design considerations, plan administration, fiduciary responsibility, claims procedures, and disclosure requirements. She also counsels healthcare providers, administrators, and facilities on contracting and the full range of healthcare related state and federal issues, including but not limited to consent, privacy, managed care, anti-kickback, HIPAA, COBRA, and the self-referral prohibitions in Stark and PORA. Ms. Ward assists healthcare providers in structuring their business transactions and relationships in compliance with the complex federal and state regulatory framework. She also advises clients and brokers on the federal healthcare reform contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and assists plan sponsors of self-funded medical plans and licensees and Knox-Keene license applicants with understanding the regulatory requirements applicable to their plans.

 Admitted to Practice

All State Courts within the State of California

 United States District Court, Eastern District of California

 Professional Activities and Affiliations

Central California Legal Services, Board Member

Fresno Arts Council, Board Member and Secretary

Fresno Area Stanford Alumni Association, Board Member and Co-President

Fresno County Bar Association, Member

North Fresno Rotary, Member and Secretary to the Endowment Fund

State Bar of California, Member


University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (J.D., 2007)

Stanford University (B.A. in English, 2004)


Ms. Ward was selected as a Northern California “Rising Star” in 2014 through 2019 by the Super Lawyers publication, a distinction given to only 2.5 percent of lawyers in California. Ms. Ward is a graduate of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce program Leadership Fresno, Class 34.