Equitable Farm Succession
Posted September 3, 2019 by John Posey
Below is a link to an article by Elaine Froese about farm succession planning which is very important for farm families but commonly overlooked. If you are a fellow Nebraskan, odds are either you or someone you know have family or friends involved in farming or ranching. This article just might be what someone needs to start an important conversation that’s easy to neglect.
Elaine does a great job detailing out key factors involved with farm succession as this can be a high anxiety activity for many. The challenge for most is trying to mutually determine what’s fair. Someone once told me that a good succession plan should create an equitable outcome which isn’t necessarily an equal outcome. With that thought, I’d suggest farm heirs shouldn’t expect everything to be split equally when the farm passes to the next generation particularly when some heirs are involved in the operation and others are not. I can already feel the tension rising with this conversation! But take it from Elaine when she says havoc will be created when heirs feel that “love equals money.” Take the time to figure out what an equitable transition looks like to you, document a succession plan AND lastly but absolutely not least, communicate the plan to your heirs. Get reputable financial professionals involved including an attorney, accountant and financial planner. My favorite quote from the article: “View fairness as helping everyone be successful rather than merely being equal.”
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