Only about 25% of family businesses survive for 15 years or more, and only about 25% of the “survivors” will survive the transition to the next generation. Many factors contribute to these dreary statistics.

Most parents want to treat their children equally when it comes to passing on the family wealth, but not all children are capable of running a business. A corollary is that not all children want to continue in the family business, irrespective of their capabilities.

It is critical to take a sober look at your business and your descendants, and consider: Can my business be successful for another generation? Your business may have provided a brilliant solution to a pressing need back when you founded it, but markets, technology, and spending patterns have changed since then. Unless your business is nimble enough to make appropriate adjustments, it may not continue to be viable.

Moreover, what is more important to you: the continuation of your business or passing on wealth to your descendants? These goals may go hand in hand, but if none of your children has the “want to” or “can do” to carry on your dream, selling your business and passing on the proceeds may be your best option.
These considerations only scratch the surface. Your trusted advisors can help you sort through the issues and help you leave the kind of legacy that best honors you, your business, and your family.

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