Succession Planning - It's a Process

Succession planning for your farm or ranch can be complicated process, one that many choose to ignore at the peril of the farm operation and family harmony. Succession planning combines elements of business design, management succession, wealth planning, retirement planning and estate planning. Trying to accomplish all of these at once can feel like swallowing the proverbial elephant whole. Too overwhelming to even start.While it is important to keep the big picture in mind, succession planning is really just a series of smaller decisions that must be revisited along the longer path to a comprehensive succession solution. In short, it is not an event, but a process.

  • What form of business entity should I adopt?

  • Who are the candidates most likely to succeed in taking over the farm business?

  • How will I provide for myself in retirement?

  • How will my spouse be provided for in the event of death or disability?

  • What is my long term care plan?

These are all questions that can be dealt with as component parts of the overall plan and adjusted when necessary along the way. A good advisor will help you deal with each of the discrete components, while keeping your eye on the ultimate goals. So don't be overwhelmed. Remember it's a process that can be revised and improved along the way.