Farms and Succession Planning

Wills and Estates

  • succession and planning

Farming typically comes with a lot of hard work and risk. It would be heart-breaking to see all that effort come to naught because there was no plan in place for the farming business to endure after death.

It can sometimes be hard to identify those in the next generation who have the capacity and desire to take over the family farm, however, it can be harder still to nut out a plan that meets the needs and wishes of all interested parties in a considered and measured way. Succession planning for the family farm is so much more than transferring assets after death because the decisions taken are likely to also have some impact on family relationships. Our estate planning specialist lawyers can assist in identifying the various considerations so you can tackle your thinking around these issues and, together, we can put a plan in place.

Some of the considerations that come into play in farming succession include:

What are your objectives and priorities?

Are there children who have the skills and experience and desire to take over and run the farm?

What about off-farm children? How will they be provided for? Do they want to be bought out (and is that even possible in all the circumstances?) Do they want to stay on as equity owners (there are pros/cons) and how would that affect the operation of the farming business?

What entities/structures are currently in place? 

Are there agreements already in place? Are they in writing and, if not, should they be?

Has there been discussions amongst the family as a part of the planning process? It can be useful and informative to allow everyone to express their views.

What about taxation considerations?

We have lawyers in our estate planning team who come from farming families and so we have real experience in understanding the particular considerations at play when it comes to succession planning for the family farm. Contact us now and don’t keep putting it off to another day.