It is obvious to everyone that our beloved Queen is reducing her duties with Prince Charles taking over events such as the State Opening of Parliament, and her only appearing a couple of times at her Jubilee ...
Just like The Firm, thinking ahead can make succession easier on your family!
Although the Palace has stated that this doesn't herald the start of any sort of formal Regency, the Queen does seem to be handing over a lot of her responsibilities to Charles (and William) as she gets older and slows down.
"And it's not just The Firm that succession planning is important for!"
If you have built a thriving, growing business that has survived difficult times, you're going to need a plan for both your business and your wealth as you get older and are unable to keep up with the level of effort you normally put in. And what's going to happen when you can't be involved? What's going to happen when you eventually die?
As a Matriarch (or Patriarch) of your realm, just like our Queen, you'll want to be involved in a meaningful way while preparing the ground for a future without you. The Firm has had hundreds of years of practice, but for the likes of us, there is a real art to finding the right balance between retaining control and handing it over to those you are preparing to succeed you.
"Planning in advance can make a real difference!"
You may be comfortable with your eldest children inheriting your wealth because you trust them, but if one of your offspring isn't very good with money and is always asking you to bail them out with debts, you may not want to give them access to a large lump sum of money or give them control of your business.
You can balance these concerns. You may consider transferring shares into a trust so the family can receive distributions from it, but don't have any power to sell the business. Different share classes can also be useful as you can retain majority voting powers and get future dividends in your golden years.
For the very wealthy, a family charter is useful. This is like a shareholder agreement detailing how collective wealth should be shared and decisions should be made on your death. If you are lucky enough to have many zero's showing on your bank balance, then I always advise introducing your children to your solicitor, accountant, tax adviser and investment manager when they're young so they understand how the world of business and money works from an early age.
"Unlike The Firm, you may not live in a palace!"
Still, thinking ahead can make succession easier on your family, and there are many ways of doing it. Putting the right structure in place now means that everything moves smoothly when you retire and is easiler for everyone when you eventually die.
Until next time ...
ROGER EDDOWES Business Godparent
Would you like to know more?
If anything I've written in this blog post resonates with you and you'd like to discover more about succession planning whether you live in a palace or not, it may be a great idea to give me a call on 01908 774320 and let's see how I can help you.
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Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.
Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.
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