This article appeared today in the New York Times.  While Asia may be behind the US in Succession Planning, I find Canada has public support for the family business and a more effective inheritance planning scheme.  My recent work in Ghana bears out much of the gist of this article.  Plan early and plan constantly to avoid conflict.

Business Dynasties Need to Plan for the Delicate Task of Succession

Published: March 28, 2011 in The New York Times
The very public battle among Stanley Ho’s extended family over the 89-year-old casino tycoon’s estate — and in particular, his stake in a Macao casino empire estimated to be worth about $1.5 billion — has brought to the fore the need for wealthy Asian families to plan for business succession.
Around 70 percent of Hong Kong’s listed companies are controlled either by their founders or by members of founding families, according to Joseph Fan, a co-director of the Institute of Economics and Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Similarly high percentages of family control can be found in Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea, he said.

Successful succession within a family business involves not just deciding how the shares in the business will be divided, but also who will be in charge of the business and who will make the final decisions after the transfer. (more)