Father-and-son or mother-and-daughter businesses are all about families working together for generations. These businesses, when they succeed, can have a longstanding place in their communities. If you are the parent and owner of a business and your children have entered into the business with you, you may be surprised to learn that there are some legal issues with passing the business on after your death. Likewise, if you are the son or daughter of a family business, you may be concerned about what happens after your parent(s) has/have passed. You can get the following help from family business succession planning consultants.

Help for Parents

As the primary owner and starter of the business in question, you can pass your business on to anyone you choose. To do so, you must first have a will that clearly states who should get the business and why. If you have any special stipulations, such as the business cannot be sold for at least a year or more after your death, you can include that. If you are leaving a portion of the business to existing grandchildren, then be sure to include that in your will as well. 

Sign the will in the presence of your attorney or a notary. (Since most lawyers are also their own notaries, it helps to just do this with your estate lawyer present.) If you do not have an estate lawyer because you did your will pro se, then sign the document in front of a notary. Everyone named in the will who is to inherit the business has to be present on the same day to witness and sign the will. Your children can sign for the grandchildren's inheritance.

Help for the Adult Children

It may be quite daunting to you when you realize that you stand to inherit more than just your parent's business. You are inheriting a legacy that is associated with your parent's name in this business. In order for that business to continue, you have to accept legal responsibility for it.

You also have to formulate a plan of action so that the business can continue for several years to come, or at the very least, survive the required number of years your parent may have asked for in his/her will. If you have the option of selling the business after a certain number of years in operation, you can, but only if the whole of of the business belongs to you. If there are some "shares" in the business given to your children or other grandchildren in the family, then the guardians or parents of these children have to give up their rights to the business before it can be sold.