As the owner of a multimillion-dollar business that is only growing and expanding every year, you think about succession planning often. You’re not going to run this company forever. You want to leave it to your heirs so that they can take it to new heights. That, you believe, is far better than selling the company and passing on the money.
One thing to keep in mind is that you want to be realistic. You have to consider not just what you want but what your heirs are capable of.
For instance, for centuries, there has been a tradition of passing a company on to the first-born son. Perhaps that has always been your goal, as well. You just expected, almost since the day he was born, that he would someday run your company.
However, you need to ask yourself if he’s interested. Is that the future he also sees for himself, or is it just your dream? Even if he is interested, you then have to ask if he has all of the traits and abilities he’ll need to do it. Is he a skilled businessman? If he lacks skills, is he willing to work with those who have them? Are there things you can teach him to help him develop into the type of businessman he’ll need to be?
You may also want to consider other heirs. What is realistically best for the company? Are you clinging to an outdated idea about passing the company to your first-born son when someone else in the family may be a much better fit?
There is a lot to think about and the decisions you make are very important, so be sure you understand all of the legal options you have.