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Succession plans of UHNW family businesses are "gathering dust," a new study has found that points to a need for greater awareness and action plans for family business elites.

This thought-provoking study by U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, Prince & Associates, and Campden Research investigates the wealth planning habits of ultra-high-net-worth business-owning families and found that the majority of wealthy owners of ultra-high-net-worth family businesses are not implementing succession plans, don't have asset protection strategies and are not updating estate plans, leaving their professional and personal interests vulnerable.

"Most ultra-affluent family business owners do have basic succession and trust and estate plans. The problem is they are all too often sitting on shelves gathering dust. Not only do these families need to act on implementing and updating their wealth planning strategies, they need more sophisticated strategies to better protect their wealth," said Mindy Rosenthal, managing director of Campden's North American Business and co-author of the research.

Family business owners can be highly successful in creating and running their businesses, but they are often less successful when it comes to transitioning their companies from one generation to the next and protecting their business and personal wealth. Most ultra-affluent family business owners do have basic succession and trust and estate plans. The problem is they are all too often sitting on shelves gathering dust. Not only do these families need to act on implementing and updating their wealth planning strategies, they need more sophisticated strategies to better protect their wealth.

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