DE Insights Take 2: Julie M. Bradlow on Succession Planning

While it may take a lot longer to catch up on the hit HBO series “Succession”, it will only “Take 2” minutes for DE Partner Julie M. Bradlow to share her expertise on real-life succession planning.


Millions of viewers enjoyed the hit HBO series “Succession” because such family power struggles can be very real. The show is doubly timely, given that many in the Baby Boomer generation are coming up on their own retirement, forcing them to make succession decisions sooner rather than later.

As I wrote in the DE Insight that I co-authored with colleague Daniel Meyer, business owners have four choices to continue their legacy. Those are: sales to other owners of the business, transfers to employees, transfers to heirs, and sales to third parties and/or the public. Each approach comes with its own set of hurdles, which we detail in our article.

You may think you’ve considered everything, but as with any major life decision, you may not understand the ramifications of your succession choices until you truly have to make them, or you have considered all of the factors at play with legal counsel, who can also help you take the emotion out of decisions. Remember, it’s never as easy as it sounds in your head.

Our article also details four things you must remember when making your succession preparations, the most important of which is having updated organizational documentation and standalone agreements. Having your house in order leads to a better outcome and it will help you avoid the same level of palace intrigue as the Waystar-Royco media conglomerate. Don’t let your own cousin Greg mess up your plans; be in control when the time for transition comes.