SUCCESSION I have been advising business clients for 50 years as a senior executive of a financial institution or the CEO of my own bank and founder of my 25 year old consulting firm. However, there seems to be a new and developing phenomena in family owned businesses, which I am going to attribute to the Millennial generation wherein the founder’s youngsters no longer want to take over their Dad’s business for reasons ranging from the hard work of keeping the company profitable to no having enough play time and having reaped the spoils of their Father’s or Grandfather’s toil. This is so disturbing to me as I know so many men and women, who would sell their shoes to have a “jump-start” business to inherit; nevertheless, this third generation in particular appear to be the generation that wants something an alternative to the rigors of running the family business. I have one client, whose husband died and left the business to his aging wife and her two kids, none of whom have the slightest experience or knowledge to run the business. The group is constantly arguing about how the business should be ran and my appearing on the scene had immediately casted me as a referee between them as opposed to providing sound consulting advice, which fell on deaf ears; even as we speak they are deciding on who is going to be in-charge meanwhile the business is slowly dying after thirty years of their Father’s labor and sacrifice. I have another client, who just wants to sell his business but because of the 50% inheritance tax rule is reluctant to do so and we have invited attorneys and CPA’s to help us figure-out the best course of action, since the company is worth many millions of dollars. What is so amazing is the young folks are not even concerned about such things as legacy; to their credit, I guess, is their desire to start their own business commensurate the pride that goes with effort rather than working in the business that previous generations started where essentially the generation is thought of as “lucky” to have the opportunity but no respect. We have a Certified Family Planner on our team, who together with our support staff can make the hard decision recommendations that each family must consider according to their goals from selling the company to hiring professional managers to keeping the company running. Each situation is different and there is no one solution that can be applied; in some cases it is merely a family friend approach in others very complicated with living wills and after death actions; such as; one family buying out the other(s). The bottom line is hire an experienced team, not just an individual, when in need of advice on SUCCESSION of the family business.