When I was practicing in Oregon way back when – it seems like a lifetime ago – I worked with a successful farming operation that started in the 1950’s. When I first got involved, the founder (we’ll call him “Dad”) was pushing 80, and he was divesting himself of his interests in the farms to his children (the “kids”). My firm was called upon to provide a business succession strategy to make the transition smoother from Dad to the kids and ultimately to the sixteen grandchildren (the “grandkids”). While we focused primarily on the legal and tax issues involved with the transfers, we also worked extensively on policies and procedures for practical corporate governance and internal dispute resolution.
Keeping a business in the family is not only a legal exercise but a careful balance of egos, structures and vision for the future. The following article goes into more depth about the necessity for proper planning to pass the business to the next generation(s).