Passing the Torch can be a Messy Affair

Passing the Torch can be a Messy Affair

by Terence B. Foley
Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

This article is reprinted by permission from

King Lear was probably the guy best known for messing up lives when he divided his kingdom among his children.

These days, he’s got plenty of company.

Even the most successful family business can founder when it comes time to turn over the tiller. Family jealousies or sibling rivalries can flame up. Professional managers long accustomed to reporting to the patriarch may bristle at being subordinate to the son. A well-qualified daughter may be pitted against her less-qualified brother. Adult children may see their family’s business as an inheritance they deserve, rather than an obligation to undertake. More…

Life Disposition of the Family Business

Life Disposition
of the Family Business

Succeeding Generations
Fall, 1996

by Barbara Gill, CLU, ChFC, CFBS
& Dale J. Seymour, CLU, ChFC, CFBS

Seymour and Associates

Retiring from the family business?What does one do?Sell to other family members?Sell to an outsider?Perhaps retain the family business and gift portions annually to other family members.What about an installment sale or private annuity?Is an ESOP an alternative?What about charitable remainder trust?How does one structure the deal so that the buyer can afford to buy and the seller can afford to retire?Fortunately, there are many creative planning opportunities available to assist the family business owner who desire to create an exit strategy.Planning in advance becomes the key.

Without question, there are many choices to be made regarding business transfers during a lifetime.One option the family business owner always struggles with is whether or not to sell the family business to family members or an outside third party.In the event of structuring a sale with family members, several particular questions should be addressed. More…