NU Online News Service, Aug. 26, 2003, 6:01 p.m. EDT – Women who control established family-owned businesses may need more help with succession planning than their male counterparts, according to a survey analysis released by Babson College.

Researchers at Babson and two other colleges gathered the survey data in 2002 with financial support from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, Mass.

The researchers collected 1,143 completed survey questionnaires from male and female owners of businesses that were at least 10 years old and generated at least $1 million in annual revenue.

The men who participated had companies with an average of 50 employees and $8 million in annual revenue, and the women had companies with an average of 26 employees and $6 million in average revenue.

Four-fifths of the owners of both sexes said they had done more about estate planning than draw up wills.

But only 62% of the women said they understood their companies’ estate tax burdens, compared with 71% of the men.

Only 50% of the women said their companies had buy-sell agreements that defined ownership, and only 33% of the women said life insurance would cover the estate taxes when they died.

Sixty-four percent of the men reported having buy-sell agreements that defined ownership, and 46% believed they had enough life insurance to cover estate taxes.