Succession planning: get expert help and understand your options
Farmer's Weekly|March 12, 2021
Even if succession seems straightforward, as when passing on operations to a single heir, several steps are needed to facilitate the transfer of the farm from one generation to the next, says Trevor Dickinson.
Trevor Dickinson.

Succession planning may require changing business structures and deciding between a direct sale and placing assets in the trust. In more complex cases, it might make sense to divide farming operations, enter into a contract with an outside farmer or sell the farm. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Because of the complex nature of a succession plan, a team that includes a lawyer and accountant is indispensable in helping to evaluate the legal and tax implications of different business structures and vehicles (such as trusts) used to transfer assets and operations.

A professional team will also be needed to complete the paperwork required to prepare a formal succession plan.

EVALUATING OPERATIONS

Once your family has established its goals for the future of the farm, including an estimated retirement date and a plan to shift operations and assets, your advisers will look at the current business structure and determine whether it can help you meet those goals, or if restructuring is needed.

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