Family farms are great. Many times, they have been in the family for generation after generation. However, as the head of the family gets older and is able to do less, it may be time to start thinking about succession planning.
Here are some tips to for succession planning.
Start early. You should start thinking about handing down the farm, almost as soon as you get it. This allows you to be open to the possibilities and makes it less hard when the time comes to step down.
Involve everyone in the discussion. It is important that every member of the family, from those who are working the farm to those who are not, involved in the discussion. Even if they want no parts of it, they should still be allowed to have their opinion heard.
Think about everyone in your family and be realistic. Though you would like to think that all of your children would love to take over the family farm, that is not realistic. Some people are meant to be farmers while others are not. Some are going to be more capable at running the farm than others. Some will prefer to work the farm while others might prefer to help with the books.
Ask for help. Even the most level-headed family can disagree over the family farm. For this reason, you may want to involve your lawyers, accountants, and even your financial advisors. They are not emotionally involved, which means that they can often help families during the discussion. They will help everyone to work together to come up with something that works for everyone.
Succession planning is not always easy, though if you get help and involve everyone in the discussion, you should be able to come up with something that works for everyone!
Contact us for more tips on running the family farm.