Using data from the 1997 National Family Business Survey, this study analyzed 673 family owned businesses. Consistent with other studies, the findings indicated that only 20% had a written succession plan. Among 673 family business owners, only 14% developed a net worth statement and 13% met with a financial planner or business consultant to discuss estate planning. Those with a succession plan tended to be older, worked longer hours in family businesses, had fewer numbers of children, and had higher business management scores than did those without a succession plan. Those who started their own business were less likely to have a written succession plan than those who inherited the business. Key Words: succession, estate planning,

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