Years ago I heard the head of Claire's talk about the importance of succession planning. The daughter had taken over the business from the father and had continued to build the chain's growth. Since my teenage daughter loved Claire's, the story was particularly meaningful to me. Now, when I read about family businesses, I think of Claire's.
Most family businesses do not survive more that two or three generations. Kids have different interests than their parents. Siblings fight. Siblings have different goals and values, even when they grow up in the same family.
But if you want to keep your family business alive, take time to read the New York Times article "Lack of Succession Plan Puts Family Venture at Risk" --
The article makes it clear how lack of a plan can tear a family and its business apart. It also has tips on how to do things right in building a family business with lasting value.
In my area, UCONN has a family business center that provides useful information and courses to help promote and sustain family businesses.