When it comes to creating a process that will allow for the passing down of the farm to the next generation, we have found that three generally accepted and often written about elements are always present and we must understand as much as possible about them if we are to have a chance at achieving the goals we seek.
Naturally we are writing articles about farm succession planning, farm strategic planning, and farm estate planning and adding them here for you. But if you are to have a wider range of information to consider we have to look elsewhere for the content.
Why are many of the succession planning articles, estate planning articles, and those about strategic planning techniques about mainstream businesses and not specifically about farm succession, estate planning, etc.?
There are actually three very good reasons.
First there are more of them. Needless to say most articles are written by individuals who want to impress you with what they know in order for you to hire them or their organization to help you. And there are many such people whose marketing is focused on big businesses and small companies that are not farms.
That doesn’t mean they don’t have good ideas – just the opposite in fact. They provide you with ideas and strategies researched and implemented by organizations whose resources are far greater than yours. So, you can pick up ideas to share with your peers (your board of advocates) and your advisors as well.
Second there are very clear similarities. For the most part these various planning strategies, techniques, and laws – especially estate taxes, income taxes, and the like are the same no matter what type of business you have.
Naturally there are differences, critical differences – but that doesn’t matter. The range of planning articles presented here are for the purpose of helping you expand your thinking, They are not presented as an endorsement of the person whose article you are reading or to suggest you give this idea or that one a try. You’ll want to ask your professional advisors about that!
Third to give you ideas of what’s working on Main Street that can be used directly on the farm – or modified to fit your situation. And because there are so many more of them you’ll have more relevant planning ideas and insights to share with your peers – to flesh out the ideas, test assumptions, and consider alternatives, before you take them to your farm advisory planning team.
Let’s face it, the more you know the more you know, and that’s a really good thing when it is about the challenges you are facing when it comes to passing down the farm ideas and tactics.
You only have to go through this process once – learn from those who’ve done it before and who get paid to help others do so.
All the best!