An important part of the planning lies in bringing together the wishes of the patriarch and the aspirations of the next generation. It often happens that the children are reluctant to express themselves freely with their father and amongst themselves. The role of the independent consultant is to hear all parties individually and to try to, as much as possible, allay their fears and expectations, creating a document (Family Charter) spelling out the procedures and regulations to be followed for family related issues. These include such matters as ownership, control, voting powers, employment of family members, etc. It is recognized that every family is different from the others and the process will ensure that the arrangements made are specific to the particular family or business.
The consultant will facilitate the communication between the parties and can help the business owner in the choice of his successor. He can also provide expertise on the structuring of a smooth hand over.
Contributed by Mario Vella, Business Consultant