All family businesses have to go through a transitional phase of one sort or another, being it the introduction of the next generation, non-family management, the death of a leader or the sale of the business and it is always good to hear from well known family firms that they are engaging in the process.

In this case, Linfox Group, one of the largest family firms in Australia, is apparently in the process of finalising their succession plan with the founder approaching 80 and the next generation ready to step up to take the lead roles.

However, like many other families in business, there is a need for a balancing act to ensure that all of the siblings are given 'fair consideration' as well as the need to plan for the estate planning implications too.

With a complex business made up of a number of different groups, all of which function and perform differently is not easy, nor is it easy when some members of the next generation are involved and others are not.

The best thing has to be that the issues are being talked about and that although there appear to be 'some grey areas,' the plan that has been developed is reported to be 'unlikely to be a source of future litigation or anger.'

It is all about communication, open and honest dialogue and ensuring that the messages are appropriately conveyed and then there is a greater chance of success, for the family and the business.