Washington, D.C. -- A recent Ernst & Young poll during a November webcast on family businesses found that 22 percent of the 350 survey respondents said that they are more concerned with the longevity of their business than with establishing wealth across generations.

Less than half of the family businesses polled (49 percent) indicated that they are training family members for succession planning, and 33 percent haven't thought about planning to prepare future generations' involvement in succession planning and/or taking over the business.

Among those family business owners who said they plan to sustain business assets for future generations, 42 percent indicated they plan to provide a long-term management strategy, 22 percent said they would establish brand recognition and consumer loyalty, 7 percent said they would align interests with executives and other important board members, and 7 percent said they would develop unique, niche or innovative products.

The survey also found that year-end tax planning is challenging for family business owners, with 58 percent of the survey respondents saying they would consider year-end tax planning difficult for both themselves as individual taxpayers and for their businesses.


When it comes to taking care of their own finances, it turns out that planners aren't much better than their clients. Almost half (46 percent) of all the nearly 2,400 planners who participated in a new Financial Planning Association study this year say they have no retirement plan. Another half say they have not written a business plan for themselves, while 75 percent have no succession plan for their firm. The findings are part of the inaugural study of the FPA Research and Practice Institute. Even among those advisors age 65 or older, only 41 percent said they have a succession plan, the survey found.

However, younger advisors (those under age 40) are more likely to have a written business plan (61 percent) than older advisers. Larger firms are also more likely to have a plan in place than their smaller peers, the study found.

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