Succession planning should be a top priority for any entrepreneur who wishes to transfer a business to a family member at some point in the future. One way to do this is to ensure that the company has been sufficiently developed so that it can be operated by another person. This means researching economic trends and other issues that may influence how the company can be run in the future.

Having a succession plan is only part of ensuring a company’s future success. It is also important to implement that plan in a timely manner. At some point, a divorce or a health problem could make it harder to transfer ownership in a manner that is in the company’s best interest. Even if a lawsuit or divorce doesn’t mean the end of a business, it could significantly lower its value or make it less likely that anyone would want to run it in the current owner’s absence.

A good business owner will identify leaders within his or her organization and develop them to eventually run the company. Quality leaders can help run the company in the event that an inactive owner is unable or unwilling to take part in the daily operations of the business. Therefore, developing a quality executive team can help protect the value of a company’s brand.

Those who are interested in end-of-life planning may wish to talk to an attorney. It may be possible to create wills or trusts that allow personal assets such as a business to be transferred upon the owner’s death. It may also be possible to transfer a company at an earlier date depending on how estate planning documents are structured.