Many wealthy family businesses lack adequate asset protection plans, with owners saying the process is just too complicated, according to a study released this week by Prince & Associates Inc.

In a survey of 242 family-owned businesses with a mean value of $730 million, nearly all expressed concerns about protecting their wealth, even though most had no asset protection plans in place, the Redding, Conn.-based market research firm reported.

About a quarter of respondents said the process was too complicated, while others said they lacked sufficient guidance to protect their family fortune.

By contrast, nearly 80 percent said they had personal estate plans. Yet even these plans were likely to be more than six years old and hadn't been updated after a marriage or divorce, the survey found.

"Not only do these families need to act on implementing and updating their wealth planning strategies, they need more sophisticated strategies to better protect their wealth," Mindy Rosenthal, the study's co-author, said in a statement.