Family Succession - Why you need to start planning now

    13th June 2023

    Author: Greg Peel, Partner PVW Partners.

    The best thing you can do to make sure your legacy lasts is to take stock and think about succession planning for your family…”

    No one wants to think about the day they must take a step back and hand over their life’s work to the next generation. Many of us like to think we will keep going forever but unfortunately, that’s not quite the reality we face. The best thing you can do to make sure your legacy lasts is to take stock and think about succession planning for your family.

    I am a huge advocate for succession planning because, at its heart, it is about having a common goal across the family. It keeps you united and together knowing where you’re heading at the end of the day. By working closely with the key stakeholders in the family we can help them work out where they want to go, what their values are, and what their end goal is, and then we bring the whole family along for the ride over time.

    Working out what's important to the family going forward, what the values are and making sure that any plan brought into place allows that family to live those values successfully now and onwards into the future. If difficult conversations are needed, it is better to have them earlier before unrealistic expectations are set.

    There’s a big communication element in this from the word go – we find out what you’re looking for as a family unit, where the situation is currently, and what the level of transparency is already established. We understand the emotion that’s behind making those first moves to implement a succession plan and that's why we have a staged process to our approach. In the first stage, you find out what's in front of you, what's likely to work and what's not, and whether it's going to suit you to take things forward.

    I do understand that it is easy to think of succession planning as tomorrow’s problem. Unfortunately, time marches on and there are many families who've simply left this too late. Our aim is to get people thinking about their future early so they can enter a plan that works for the whole family. I wholeheartedly encourage those families who aren’t ready to take the plunge to at least dip your toe in the water and see what it’s all about.

    I haven’t seen many families who haven’t benefited in some way from having transparency around their succession planning expectations. However, if it’s left too late, or not done at all, then there are often expectations between members of the family within the succession planning process aren’t met. Starting it early gives you an opportunity to make sure that those expectations don't get out of hand.

    Thankfully I often see success stories from the families I’ve worked with.  A lot of these come from those two or three generation families all working happily together towards a goal over a five to 10-year period and seeing that goal come to fruition. Where the first generation is financially independent and in a space that they want to be; the middle generation are also comfortable and starting to think about the generations to come. That’s what I love to see through this process.

    If you’ve been toying with the idea of succession planning, let this be the final push you need to come and chat with us at PVW Partners to make sure yours, and your family's future, is foolproof.

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