Family businesses are common in the United States, across the entire spectrum of services and industries. Often, the business starts out as sole proprietorship or partnership, and then as children become adults and want to join, the business can expand into a different type of structure. It is natural for parents who are business owners to want to include their children in their success, especially since they may one day inherit ownership of the business.
Nonetheless, the issues of business structure, participation and investment all play a role when it comes to succession planning. There is no one strategy that will fit every family business situation, and there are a number of issues that can affect how the business is included in estate planning.