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Tips for turning your company over to your children

Ever since you started your family business, you have been hoping to turn it over to your kids. It's your legacy, something you can leave to them that you believe can change their lives.

You want this process to go smoothly, so you need to do your succession planning in advance. Here are a few tips that may help:

Call a family meeting

Make sure everyone is on the same page. Find out exactly what involvement your children plan to have or want to have. This is especially important if you plan to leave the company to just one of multiple children. You can stop disputes before they start by talking over everything as a family.

Tell them about the downsides

Your children really need to be ready to run the business, and that may mean making sacrifices. It may mean working long hours or giving up family time. Tell them about the benefits and drawbacks that you have discovered during your own career.

Take your time

You never want to rush this process. Do not wait until you're ready for retirement to call that meeting. Ideally, you want to talk to your children years in advance. Give the ones you want to run the company some lower-level leadership positions. Show them the ropes and give them hands-on experience. Take your time and make sure they are really ready before you decide to call it a career.

These tips can make your succession planning go smoothly. Be sure you also look into all of the legal options you have to transfer the company to the next generation.

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