Integrating Self-Management With Estate Planning

Succession planning is often the most complicated piece of the estate-planning puzzle. While tax planning has specific statutory rules and court precedents that must be followed to achieve a successful outcome, there are no official rules in succession planning and, often, no perfect solutions. Additionally, every family and business is unique, and we require both psychological and business acumen to guide our clients properly, even though most estate planners are trained in neither. For our clients who are emotionally torn between ensuring that their businesses continue for as long as possible and still wanting their descendants to play a major role in the future, the “self-management” model, which has been featured in the Harvard Business Review,1 among other publications, may offer an interesting solution. This business management structure eliminates the traditional hierarchical system of management in favor of empowered and self-directed teams of co-workers. Many successful companies already implement self-management, some in bits and pieces, and a few, in its entirety.

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