Why is Family Business Succession Planning So Difficult?

By Neel Shah, Trusts|Estates|Law posted 06-23-2015 09:19


Business succession planning is difficult to begin with, which is why so many people avoid doing it at all. That’s not a good approach, however, because poor planning could turn into a real problem down the road. When it comes to businesses owned by a family, it seems like this one area where multiple challenges make it harder than ever to have the planning conversation. 

There are many factors involved in why family business succession planning often takes a backseat. First of all, there’s a smaller pool of potential successors. Sibling rivalries can inflame arguments, especially when some siblings want to stick with the business and others want to move on after the parents have exited the company or passed away. Larger generational differences between stakeholders is another reason why it’s hard to figure out the future of a family business.

Finally, there’s a strong connection between family and work for anyone who works in the family business. Without proper care and planning, this can lead to more emotional conflicts at work and at home. That being said, you can minimize future conflicts by planning ahead and thinking especially about how you want your legacy to be carried on. Need help? Email [email protected].