- Family business is a large and growing part of the economy, however family business owners often fail to devote sufficient time to planning the succession of their business.
- Many family business owners consider not leaving their children with a large share of their wealth or business, often worrying that their spouse or children could, in the absence of appropriate planning, blow the money.
- Family business advice spans the area of family and commercial advice so lawyers practising in this area need to have a clear costs model.
- Lawyers have not made this area their own. However, neither have accountants and those providing financial advice, yet they are now moving in to this area.
Lawyers are often trusted advisers to family owned businesses but, for various reasons, are not always the first people clients speak to about succession of a family business. More often, they may be asked to document a transaction that is already largely agreed. In some situations, clients become frustrated when the lawyer is seen to be delaying or complicating the transaction by asking sensible questions. As lawyers know from experience, the parties would have been better off asking these questions at an earlier stage.