Succession Planning – Where Do I Go From Here?

25th October 2012

How many times have you considered the future when letting the mind wander? The reality is that those ‘blue sky’ ideas and best intended thoughts rarely translate from the day dream to a managed and controlled strategy for implementation. As is too often the case, these dreams and thoughts are carried to the grave along with a generation of expertise and knowledge. The value of these thoughts should never be dismissed!

It is a difficult subject to consider, and even harder to know how to begin to transfer the business that you have worked so hard to generate to the next generation, without fear of losing control. This need not be the case with careful and timely consideration.

To put things into context, the value of some farmland in the course of one generation has increased by some 400%, and residential property by even greater margins. The latter might previously have been seen as the most obvious asset to dispose of due to the lack of demand and the costs of repair. Given the average UK house price is in the region of £170,000, it is clear that residential property is no longer the poor relation.

Succession planning need not be emotive or complicated. By taking careful and deliberate steps to identify what is critical to the successful and sustainable running of a business, these ideas can be put forward to the next generation, considered, amended and importantly actioned and recorded in the relevant way. This may include the transfer of property, shares in a company, a change in a partnership or tenancy.

One key consideration is that what may be important in the eyes of the transferor, may not be deemed to be of such significance to the beneficiary. Whilst I’m not suggesting that an inheritance is a bad thing, careful thought needs to be given to the future requirements of the next generation, particularly where some siblings may have an interest in the trading business, and others are earning their living by another means.

Get a good team to assist in the transfer of knowledge in the most efficient structure and ensure that all interested parties are involved in the discussions and continue to communicate. When an agreement in principle has been reached, implement, monitor and react to changes in circumstances.

If you would like further information, please join us at our breakfast seminar on 8th November at The Oak Tree, Helperby.

Please contact Lynn Symonds on 01677 458207 to register your interest.

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