Millennials and the Family Business: When New Values Meet Old

Millennials are taking their places at office desks around the nation. This burgeoning generation is just starting out, which means changes for family businesses with millennial family members who stand to inherit the family business. Of course, this scenario raises certain concerns for baby-boomer business owners as they look to the next generation of workers.

According to Patricia M. Soldano and Lauren Benenati in their article Millennials and the Family Office, “This intergenerational wealth transfer will pose significant challenges to the family office, as this generation has beliefs and views independent of their parents.” A valid point in an age of online transactions, social media, and a changing stock market. Baby-boomer business owners face potential discord as a forward-thinking, tech-savvy, and somewhat self-centered generation of workers step into their family offices. The challenges only increase when it comes to intergenerational wealth transfer because it calls into question how millennials will be involved in managing that wealth while the baby boomers are still alive.

Today, business management is steadily shifting away from the brick and mortar of the older generation and toward the web-based, social media-dependent, mobile-friendly dealings of the new. How can these two generations reconcile their differences for the benefit of the family business and the preservation of family wealth? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Baby boomers can start planning now, for the years ahead, when they may no longer have an active, participatory role in the management of the family business. 

Do you have a family business with a growing workforce? As your millennial family members introduce new ideas and values about financial management to your business, consider how that will affect intergenerational wealth transfer. Consult with us as your Family Business Lawyer® if you have questions about how to protect and preserve your wealth while at the same time ensuring your family business can thrive in the hands of even your youngest employees. We can help you make sure your business will be managed according to your wishes both now and in the future when millennials are ready to take the operational reigns.

This article is a service of A. J. Yolofsky, Family Business Lawyer®. Yolofsky Law offers a complete spectrum of legal services for businesses and can help you make the wisest choices on how to deal with your business throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a LIFT Start-Up Session™ or a LIFT Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call us today to schedule.