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While family businesses face the same hurdles as others, they're also confronted by the minefields of shared histories, interdependent relationships, and long-standing and complex conflicts.


No single professional advisor has all the expertise necessary to fulfill the needs of a family business and its owners. Family businesses are served best when their professional advisors collaborate. I have teamed with family business consultants (psychologists and others specializing in family-owned businesses), as well as business consultants, certified public accountants, financial planners, trusts and estates attorneys, tax attorneys, and others to help business-owning families with the challenges they face.

As more fully set forth in my biography, I serve as president of Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises and have been designated by the Family Firm Institute as a Family Business Advisor with Fellow Status.


The process of passing a family business to the next generation of owners and managers typically includes considerations like:

  • Selecting next generation leaders.

  • Preparing leaders for their new responsibilities.

  • Determining how (sale or gift), when, and to whom ownership will be transferred. What will each transferee receive?  Will the transfer be direct or through a trust?

  • Defining the roles of family members who won't be assuming leadership positions.

  • Developing policies for the handling of the changing rights and responsibilities that accompany marriages, births, and deaths.

  • Establishing criteria for family members to join or be promoted within the business.

  • Creating governance structures, such as a board of directors or advisors.

  • Professionalizing the business.

  • Attracting and retaining key non-family employees.

  • Addressing the often divergent interests of owners who are active in the business and those who are not.

  • Assuring fairness to all children.

The 7-Step Exit Planning Process can be a valuable tool in family business succession planning. It integrates all points of view into a unified strategy. Typically, business succession planning focuses on both the family and the business. The Exit Planning Process, however, centers on the senior generation owner's needs and objectives. The senior generation owner knows that the Exit Planning Advisor is there to be his or her advocate and, as a result, may be less anxious or resistant.

Learn more about the other services I offer:


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