Farm Transition And Estate Planning Can Be Complex And Confronting, But It Doesn’t Have To Be.
This month we are focusing on Estate Planning and Retirement and I wanted to share this story with about a fifth generation farming family I am currently working with. The fourth generation are still alive, and the sixth generation are about to come through.
On the surface, their estate plan seems to be taken care of, but delving deeper, we’ve found messy and complicated structures around various ownership of land and other assets.
Given the unique nature of farming, unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon.
Estate Planning Is An Important Part Of Succession Planning
Good planning ensures that the land, wealth, knowledge, and assets accumulated are passed down to the next generation and beyond. Without the appropriate planning and structures in place, these things can get lost.
Coming back to what I wrote about in last week’s article, your estate plan isn’t sorted just because you have a Will. The assets held within a farm business are often held in complicated structures, such as companies, super funds, trusts, and partnerships – usually a combination of these. As a result, assets are rarely divided easily or equally, which creates a certain degree of complexity.
The Problem With Complexity Is That It Creates Uncertainty.
In this scenario, the fifth generation are looking to a future where their sons and daughters can take over the family farm, but they can’t move on without knowing what their position is once their parents pass away.
The uncertainty is unhealthy, and if ignored, can lead to circumstances that create disunity among family members.
What we’re really looking for here is to make sure the whole family is still together at Christmas.
It Can Be Uncomfortable To Have These Conversations
But once you get past the discomfort and start sorting through the confusion, relationships inevitably improve because each family members gets to voice their thoughts and opinions, knows what to expect, and knows what role they play.
After we sent out last week’s email, we received a lot of responses from farmers and business owners alike who have been affected by their family’s estate plan.
Some families are no longer talking or have gone their separate ways completely. Others had no idea what the estate plan entailed until their parents had passed and it was too late to talk about.
As difficult as it can be to address these issues, the conversations need to be had. In the long run, it’s more difficult to lose a family member due to something that could have been prevented.
So, how can we help?
We’re really good at helping you discern what the long- and short-term goals are for your family and your farm, and we make sure you have the right strategy in place to get there.
This includes the big question…
Who will own your farm in 10 years?
The Farm Business Success Program is designed to help you achieve family and business harmony, through clarity, profitability, and financial security.
To learn more about our Program, click here.
We’ll help you develop your long-term vision and a strategy to see it through, so that you can have peace of mind, knowing your family farm will survive through to the next generation and beyond.
To get in touch, you can book a call with me here.‘