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Tools to Help Along the Way

March 27, 2010
By: Kevin Spafford, Farm Journal Columnist

A family focused on taking constructive action will achieve succession planning success. To aid in the process each step of the way, you'll find several helpful legacy tools at Here's a sampling of what's available.

1 The Family Meeting

Meeting as a family may sound formal—but it's essential to generate results. The most important aspect of the succession planning process is communication. The family that learns to communicate on a constructive level, putting the health of the operation before the wants of each individual, is far ahead. Use the family meeting guide to plan for the initial gathering, and then use it throughout the process to keep everybody

informed and engaged.

2 Conversation Starters

One way to drop all preconceived ideas is to ask in an open and

welcome manner what each person's interests or intents are regarding

involvement in the operation. The conversation starters worksheet

includes six questions that should be asked of and answered by each family member, in a nonjudgmental fashion.

3 Goals Clarification Worksheet

Without clearly defined objectives, it's hard to know what you're working toward. The goals clarification worksheet will help family members define their succession planning goals.

4Succession Planning

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - Early Spring 2010

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