Long range planning for management or ownership transfer does not happen very often. The biggest reasons for business succession failing are lack of communication and unrealistic expectations. Succession planning should be a direct continuation of the company's philosophy and culture statements. A good plan is prepared far in advance. Change must be perceived as positive growth, as creative, innovative and as an essential indredient of success. An orderly transition depends on planning, preparing and letting go. When properly done, succession planning can be a positive growth experience.