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So Much for an Easy Succession

Chart showing steps family-business owners have taken to ensure the family's continuing participation.
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Although a majority of family-business owners recently surveyed by accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand intended to leave their companies to their offspring, many had done little to ensure that successful transitions will happen.

Q: If you plan to keep the business in your family, what steps have been taken to ensure the family's continuing participation? % of respondents
My children and/or family members already participate in the business. 77%

A nonfamily "steward" will manage the business until my children come of age 10

It's addressed in my will 35

I have a management-succession plan 27

I've purchased life insurance to cover potential estate-tax costs. 40

I have a buy-sell agreement that ensures family succession 29

Other 4

Note: Multiple answers permitted

Source: Coopers & Lybrand, "Growing Your Wealth," a survey of family business owners, 1993.

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