Garbage In-Garbage Out

The complexities of family dynamics

We recently ran into a situation where a business owner had the help of some very sophisticated, mechanical counselors and he created a succession plan that seemed to make sense to him. It was a complicated situation because this gentleman was remarried to a younger woman. His son from his first marriage was a minority partner in the business. His new spouse was the same age as his first son. In addition, he had two young children from his new marriage. A very complicated succession plan was structured such that someday it would put the son from his first marriage into a business partnership with the children of his second marriage. When his young children enter the business, his older son would be around 60 years old. In the meantime, if his father passed away, he would be partnered with his dad’s second wife. This was a perfect example of a plan that was put together without first testing the owner’s fundamental succession objectives. After careful analysis, it was concluded that his estate plan would only work well if he lived indefinitely in order to manage and control these complicated family dynamics.


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