The consequence and hardship for survivor without any prior estate tax arrangement in Japan:

Nintendo has looked to reinvent itself in recent years negotiating significant obstacles including the death of third-generation president Hiroshi Yamauchi in 2013, the ensuing dilution of the family’s ownership stake due to succession tax, and the poor performance of its Wii U console. 

Keita Fujino, an equity research analyst and executive officer at the Family Business Advisors Association Japan, discussed the transition: “When Hiroshi Yamauchi died, Nintendo had been a typical family-owned business for 124 years. Its former president owned 10% of the Nintendo, which passed down to his four children.” 

“However, most of the shares were sold to pay for their succession tax and it is estimated that none of them have more than a 0.95% ownership stake today. None of the next-gens sit on the board of Nintendo. I presume that the Yamauchi family’s influence on the business will be even weaker, given these circumstances.” 

Fujino explained that succession is one of the most pressing problems facing family-owned businesses in Japan: gift and inheritance tax sits at 55% on ¥600 million ($6 million).