Planning business continuity as a couple

Planning business continuity as a couple
Planning business continuity as a couple

These problems on the line can turn into a real headache when passing on assets. Often, knowledge and responsibilities are concentrated in the hands of one spouse. The survivor risks finding himself destitute upon his death. This situation can harm the transfer of assets.

Asset transfer plan

“Just as a business plans its transmission and continuity, couples must anticipate these aspects to avoid potential difficulties,” says Josée Blondin. To meet this challenge, the specialist suggests drawing inspiration from the business transfer model and establishing an asset transfer plan.

This plan provides for the manner in which not only the assets of the spouses, but also their knowledge will be transmitted. For example, how the family budget is managed or which professionals are involved (accountant, financial planner, notary, etc.). The plan also provides for the transfer of powers and responsibilities, including who will make decisions in the event of disability and how the executor will be equipped to carry out their role.

As in any organization, a transition period is necessary to allow the next generation to take over the reins. If children have been made aware of financial management beforehand, they will be better equipped to take over, hence the importance of giving them financial education very early on, specifies the expert.

Business couples

When one of the spouses is an entrepreneur, or when both are, sometimes in different businesses, the situation becomes more complicated. One of the challenges is not having enough time to invest in the relationship. Business discussions often blend in with personal conversations and invite themselves to the table.

For couples and money to go well together, communication is essential, emphasizes Josée Blondin. Periods of stress must be avoided to initiate an in-depth discussion on a thorny subject. “Often, behind finances, there are unspoken emotions. It is sometimes difficult to name these emotions. » Spouses must therefore learn to express their needs individually and clarify their respective roles within the couple.

To facilitate communication and decision-making, Josée Blondin proposes the idea of ​​a “couple council”, based on the model of a company board of directors. The partners define together a common mission and objectives. They divide roles according to each person’s strengths. This approach creates a “safe space” to make informed financial decisions, points out Josée Blondin. She adds that women are often at a financial disadvantage in marriage and that they must be more creative to establish a fair sharing of expenses.

Human approach

In this context, the role of advisors is not limited to analyzing the figures mechanically, believes the expert. They must adopt an approach based on frank and open communication, in order to better understand the perceptions and emotions of their customers.

Here is a simple exercise that you can do with clients to promote communication and break down certain taboos and prejudices. Ask each spouse to make a list of their values. Then, during a next meeting, invite them to share these values. For example, if they both named family, encourage each person to explain what that means to them. This exercise can help clarify certain goals. “For example, if Mrs. wants to spoil the children now, but Mr. would rather bequeath the property to them after death, you can suggest an alternative between the two,” indicates Josée Blondin.

To facilitate financial communication among clients in relationships, you can encourage them to regularly discuss their financial goals, spending, investments and long-term plans with each other. You can also encourage them to regularly monitor the state of their finances, establish a budget and review it once a year to check that it still corresponds to their situation and their objectives.



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