(June 5): Broaching the topic of succession planning has always been culturally sensitive, particularly in Asia. However, it remains important to approach the issue across societies, and this needs to be done with understanding and empathy. Encouragingly, there is an increasing awareness — especially among younger generations in Asia — that the failure to address succession planning can result in family acrimony and schisms.
Whilst there are often well-worn excuses for why planning should be dealt with later, the ongoing Covid-19 crisis is a grave reminder that the choice of timing is not always in the hands of a family.
Old-school wealth transfer and transition approaches have historically been the norm in Asia and elsewhere. For example, the usual practice is when the eldest son inherits the business or a patriarchal distribution of wealth favouring sons. However, these culturally prevalent approaches are no longer a given.