If you’ve been putting off starting or updating your succession planning, I’d like to share a stark reminder I experienced a couple of years ago: It’s important to act now. My 10-person, Windham, N.H., firm was considering buying a CPA firm from a sole practitioner who had an interesting practice in a good location. We had several positive meetings. But just as we were formalizing a deal, we heard the sole practitioner had unexpectedly passed away. Although the next of kin wanted to continue with the sale of the practice, we had to decline since we knew that many of the firm’s clients would have already moved on by the time we took over. The CPA’s failure to plan for transition made the firm less valuable to us.