Picking up the Pieces


How a family chooses to work together after the death of a loved one can make – or break – them.
Picking up the Pieces


BanyanGlobal Principal, Ana Silvia Resende, walks through the emotions and issues that arise both in the family and in the business when a family business family member dies. How can a family both process their grief and still come together to keep both the business and the family on track? Resende shares stories and her advice for individuals and the family as a whole when going through this difficult time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t let your feelings cause you to ignore important issues. There are three categories of things that must be dealt with for the health and wellbeing of the business and the family: the personal side, the estate, and the succession plan. There are specific advisors, individuals, and groups who should be called on to help the family and the business navigate these buckets after the passing of a business family member.
  • Three common mistakes that business families make are 1. Ignoring the emotional ramifications of their death 2. Not working together as a family to make the important decisions and being there for each other 3. And not focusing on the succession process and supporting the successor as an individual.
  • Family business is a team sport. After a member of the business family dies, it is important to work together constructively. Divide and conquer the tasks and decisions that need to be made but ensure that each individual is getting the support they need in the system and on the team.
  • Honor the individual while still moving forward. Get together and acknowledge all the positives the individual contributed to the business, to the family, to their community, etc. It’s ok to move forward, but that doesn’t mean you can’t honor the legacy.

Time Stamps:

[0:10] Why is dealing with death in a family business so complex?

[1:02] How do you prevent natural emotions from getting in the way of the business functions?

[3:43] Were the wishes for succession clear?

[5:09] What are the special challenges for business families navigating the death of a loved one?

[7:50] What are the common mistakes that family business families make?

[9:58] How do you come together as a family to get through hard times?

[11:47] What does the owner room need to consider in the immediate aftermath of a death in the family?

[13:20] How can you honor the legacy of the deceased while still moving forward?


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