Frazer Blog

The Kids Don’t Want the Family Funeral Business. Now What?

by | Jun 20, 2019 | Funeral Profession

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Many of the funeral homes we serve are family-owned and have been passed down among family members for generations. Plenty of people who become funeral directors were inspired to do so by seeing their parents working in the funeral profession during their childhood. However, for some families, this is not the case.

Sometimes the children of funeral directors decide that they have no interest in running a funeral home. This may be due to the stress that comes with it, or they simply have other interests. This can sometimes be a touchy subject for some families, but it doesn’t have to be.

By having open and honest discussions and planning ahead, you can comfortably leave the funeral home you’ve built in good hands. Below are some tips and things to keep in mind when your children are not interested in taking over the family funeral business.

Make Time to Talk About it

At some point, you need to sit down with your children and discuss whether or not they plan to take over the family business. If they do, make it clear what is expected of a business owner. If they do not or seem unsure, kindly try to figure out why.

Maybe they have some fears that you could address and help with. Or, maybe they have other aspirations for their career. Either way, as a parent it’s important to be supportive of their future endeavors. If you expect them to take over the business without having a discussion first, it can lead to hurt feelings or family drama.

Start Planning ASAP

When your time to retire comes, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Your spouse, family, and funeral home staff should be well aware of your succession plans. They should know what their responsibilities are and what will change after you leave. The sooner you start planning, the happier everyone will be.

Decide Who Will Take Over

If your children do not want the funeral business, it’s time to start thinking of different people who could take over. Perhaps it could still stay in the family. Are any of your nieces, nephews, or grandchildren showing interest in the business?

If family isn’t an option, a promising employee could also take over the business. As soon as you decide who will take it over, it’s important to start getting them ready to run the business. Make a list of all the things they need to know to run the business and begin to go over each item with them.

Determine If You Will Keep the Business or Sell

Sometimes when business owners retire, they begin a more hands-off role in the business. While someone else is running the business, they keep an eye on the business and check in every so often. In that case, it would make sense to keep your business. However, if you are completely done with the funeral profession, it may be time to sell.

Planning to sell shouldn’t be a last-minute decision. It takes a lot of planning and prepping of your facility. According to RBC Wealth Management, you should be talking to a team of advisors that includes an attorney, an accountant, a financial advisor, and a wealth planner when planning to sell a family business.

How many generations has your funeral home been in the family? Share by commenting below!


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