Facilitation for Succession Planning

Bringing Harmony to Your Family Business

The basic difference between succession planning and estate planning is that succession planning is the process whereby the business is transferred to the next generation while the existing owners are still alive whereas estate planning reflects the transfer through the will.

The advantage of succession planning is that the existing owners can be around to mentor and enjoy the success of the next generation and the continuation of the family operation.

What makes a successful transition? Well, there are a number of important factors.  A viable operation, a skilled successor who has made the business a career choice and strong family relationships all play significant roles in the successful transition of a family business.

However, the most important factor is communication. Communication within families can be a challenge. And because communication can be a challenge, it is often easier to assume that we know what other family members are feeling, what they’re thinking and even what is best for them. We’re usually wrong.

Communication between spouses, generations and professional advisors is critical to a successful transition.

Each family business is unique and because of this characteristic the succession planning and implementation process for each will be different but communication and transparency will be necessary to all of them.

Our role is to facilitate that communication process. The process by which we gather and analyze information is geared to facilitating open and continuing communication within the family and the family business.

Working closely with the family and their professional advisors, the following areas are usually addressed:

  • Meeting with existing owners and then with successors
  • Meeting with non-business siblings (where appropriate)
  • Identify, analyze and provide guidance on family issues that need to be resolved in order for the succession plan to be successful
  • Review of pertinent financial and legal information regarding the operation and current and future stakeholders
  • Interact with existing professional advisors to obtain information, review alternative approaches and collaborate on recommended outcome and assist with implementation if requested
  • Develop a strategic planning process for the current and future stakeholders to develop a mission, vision, and specific action plans for the business and the family
  • Develop with family and existing professional advisors ongoing monitoring and communication plans

The goal is a succession plan that works for the family and the family business now and into the future

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