One of the great problems that family businesses face is that of succession. Very few have an established protocol that allows them to regulate the transition to the next generation.
There are few cases in which simply talking about the matter generates conflicts between families. However, it is an issue that must be faced in time, to determine who will inherit the company and on what terms, always seeking the balance of assets and the preservation of harmony in the family.
In principle, it would not be fair that all the effort made for a long time by the entrepreneur, founder of the company (who in many cases is the father or grandfather of the heirs), was not channeled in an adequate and rigorous way and that the company was lost to the next generation.
Succession planning is an important part of corporate governance actions. It is at this level that the procedures for generational change should be established, aimed at giving continuity to the company, leaving the management of the same in the hands of the most capable.
In this context, the company’s will is a fundamental tool for laying the foundations for the succession of the company and making it clear how the inheritance and legacies, if any, will be distributed.
It is not the same inheritance as legacy
Heredity is universal; In other words, it refers to everything that remains after the death of a person, in this case the employer. The heir is the one who receives everything: rights, assets, obligations and debts. Therefore, that is the person who is placed in the position of the inheritor, the continuator of the legal personality.
The legacy, on the other hand, is particular, it allows one or more assets of the inheritance to be granted to certain people who are specified in the will. This allows, for example, to divide his estate so that he leaves something to each member of his family and inherit the person he considers most capable to be in charge of the company.
When making a will, there are three options:
1. Transfer the entire inheritance universally and in equal parts to all heirs.
2. To transmit a part in the form of bequests and the rest in a universal way.
3. Do it all in the form of bequests.
When it comes to a company, it is most convenient for this type of decision to be made by the lieder in conjunction with his corporate governance bodies, to determine the best decision for the family and the company.
If the lieder of a family business dies without a will, it can lead to serious family and corporate conflicts, loss of assets, struggles for power and control of the business, and likely lengthy and costly lawsuits. Not to mention that many times corporate obligations are breached at all levels, which triggers the closure of the company.
For this reason, today is the best time to establish clear and specific rules through a will and a well-formulated succession plan, before it is too late.