Do you have a documented Business History, one that can be made available to all interested parties? This frequently overlooked document can be relatively simple and straightforward to build, but prove to be vital in keeping others aware of the historical foundations of the family firm. Special FBC programs and services can assist you in building a chronology of key factors, decisions, and events in the life of your family’s firm.
Personal History (Legacy)
Each generation of the family firm has one or more key individuals who shaped the business operations of their day. To understand the family firm of today fully, one should know something about the key individuals who have brought the firm to where it is now. The FBC can conduct a CONFIDENTIAL interview with one or more members of the family business, capturing an informal personal history of that family member, their major life events, and their hopes for the future. The resulting CONFIDENTIAL videotape serves as a priceless legacy document for reference by members of the family firm at any future time.
Most family businesses and their members own a wide variety of assets intended for eventual distribution to specific beneficiaries (life insurance, tax-deferred annuities, and IRAs, to mention just a few). What all these assets have in common is the requirement to maintain current identifications of intended beneficiaries. Accurate and current beneficiary information is particularly important in a family firm where the desire to share assets equally with subsequent generations is a priority. The FBC offers a checklist of questions to ask when completing a beneficiary form (e.g., "Can I reach unborn children/grandchildren?"), and provides an annual reminder notice to the family business and its owners that identifies the need to update beneficiary forms due to births, deaths, reorganization, or other factors leading to changes in intent.
Planning for the educational of family members and/or employees of a family owned firm is a unique responsibility. As state and federal tax laws change, the FBC will offer timely workshops and publications to assist the family firm in planning efficiently for this important and often expensive activity, emphasizing techniques for maximizing return on educational investments. You can request a helpful free pamphlet produced by USF called "Tips for Parents with College Bound Children". To request the college planning pamphlet please click here and give a brief description in the text box.
One of the most important challenges for any family owned firm is planning for the passage of leadership from one generation to the next . Succession planning need not be overly complex, but it can be a sensitive and emotional area that family firms find difficult to face. A plan for succession should be developed, documented, and carried out in a manner that is understood and accepted by all concerned, if the family firm is to survive and grow over time. Communication is the key to a successful succession process for the firm, and the FBC offers workshops, books, videotapes and articles to assist the family firm in this critical activity.
Members of most family firms accept the need to give something back to the communities and organizations that have supported them. Philanthropy can have both intangible and tangible benefits for the firm, since well-designed contribution plans may provide significant tax advantages. The FBC offers workshops, books, videotapes and articles to explore the mechanics and advantages of gifting vehicles available to the family business and its members.
To request this support service, please click here.