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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
Fax: (201) 997-9567
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Keeping Family Business in the Family, without Splitting the Family Apart

There are few things that have the potential to split a family apart faster than a family business with no plan for succession or management after the head of the business passes away. If you are a business owner, it is important to have an estate plan, such as a will, that provides for the distribution of leadership and responsibilities after your passing.

Award-winning journalist Karin Price Mueller recently covered the importance of making a plan for succession, citing several points to consider if you run your own business and wish it to remain in the family. The most important point is the absolute necessity of having a plan and leaving directives for carrying that plan out.

Trusting good intentions is risky, as these situations do not often work themselves out. Rare is the family who can commit to working together without incident.

It is important to have a line of succession, or chain of command, in place that clearly designates positions and roles. Clarify who is in charge of what, and put this in perspective to the larger picture. Power struggles can happen when there is no clear business dynamic in place. 

According to the American Family Business Survey, conducted in 2007, a mere 30 percent of family-owned businesses stay within the family for more than one generation. That means that the business or company you have worked hard to create, maintain and grow has even less than a one-out-of-three chance at staying in your family.

But while the numbers may seem stacked against you, your odds of keeping a business within the family are completely proportional to the amount of planning you undertake. By starting to plan your estate now, you can save your family - and your business.

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