Shares in most public companies can be sold quickly and easily. However, if you leave your heirs shares in a family business, it can be more difficult because money can more easily be lost, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in "The Family-Shareholder Wealth Roadmap."
If heirs receive shares in publicly traded companies it is easy enough for them to turn those shares into cash anytime they wish.
If you leave your family shares in a private or family business, it is much more difficult to turn those shares into cash. There are often restrictions on who can own the shares and there is not an easily and quickly accessible market to sell the shares.
One of the biggest mistakes that family businesses make is not adequately considering the time value of money when it comes to making cash distributions to shareholders.
Companies often wait too long to make the distributions and thus the shareholders lose value. Another common mistake is using equity to finance operations, when debt financing would be better under the circumstances.
These problems can be overcome with the right assistance.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on creating an estate plan that fits your family’s circumstances and may include assets in the form of a family business.
Reference: Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog (Nov. 24, 2017) "The Family-Shareholder Wealth Roadmap."