Succession Planning for Your Farming Business

Rincker Law Estate Planning, Food & Ag Law Leave a Comment

AustinProud of my little cousin Austin Rincker- He made the cover of the Illinois  Field and Bean last month (the flagship publication of the Illinois Soybean Association).  He is noted in the article starting on page 6 titled “Successful Succession- Begin With the End in Mind.”

If you follow this blog then you know how important succession planning for farms, ranches and agri-businesses is in my eyes.  It’s never too early to start.  As Attorney Craig Ferguson suggests, farms should think about what would happen tomorrow if something unexpected happened today.  Does that person have the requisite knowledge of the farming operation.

In the article, Attorney Ferguson noted that a “successful farm succession process requires “talking with the entire, especially if assets may be distributed unevenly.”  He stated “If you’re not willing to talk about the plan with your kids, then either the plan is unreasonable or your kids are unreasonable.”  I like that quote.

Page 8 of the article lists some helpful steps including:

  • Identify capable leadership,
  • Prepare the next generation,
  • Share skin in the game,
  • Think through land and machinery transfers,
  • Consider trusts for land transfers, and
  • Be clear with everyone’s intentions.

For more information on farm estate and succession planning, please see this article and this radio broadcast. My book that I wrote also has an entire chapter on farm estate and succession planning.

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