When it comes to the succession plans of a family business, there are many things to ponder when selecting an heir. Important attributes like responsibility, work ethic, and leadership are taken into consideration when deciding who choose for the business. One thing that you may have left out is what to do if your heir turns down the offer to take over the family business. Then what? If you are a family business owner, are you intending to keep the business in the family even as you step down from control? Have you considered the possibility of designating an heir who does not want the family business and do you have a “Plan B” to adjust your succession plans accordingly? The reasons why an heir may resist taking up the reins to the family business are many facetted, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are making a final, informed decision. No, it may take time, talk, and some understanding, and there are lessons to be gleaned from a recent Forbes article on the subject titled “5 Ways Family Business Founders Can Change A "Made Up" Mind.” Deciding on a successor for your business can take patience, time and understanding. This aspect of estate planning isn’t just about your own wishes, but also about the hopes and dreams of your family members and heirs involved.
Reference: Forbes (September 10, 2012) “5 Ways Family Business Founders Can Change A "Made Up" Mind”