Leave a Legacy
Kevin Spafford is Farm Journal’s succession planning expert for the Farm Journal Legacy Project. He hosts the nationally-televised ‘Leave a Legacy’ TV, facilitates an ongoing series of workshops for farm families across the U.S., and is the author of Legacy by Design: Succession Planning for Agribusiness Owners.
"How Much Can I Do on My Own?"
Jan 31, 2012
From Legacy Moment (01/27/2012).
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It seems like the consummate question. Even if not vocalized, it may be buzzing around in your mind as you consider alternatives to a full-blown succession planning engagement. Questions may come up such as: "Can I do it myself?" or "I don’t think we need all of that, do we?"
Done right, the succession planning process will require an investment of your time, money and effort. Succession planning is not a once-and-done event. It is a series of experiences that move you, the operation and the family toward an eventual ownership transition. Along the way, you’ll realize more financial security, prepare the next generation to lead and strengthen the integrity of the operation.
The soundness of the plan will be based on the degree of your commitment. You must be willing to meet a planning professional in the middle, do some homework and act accordingly:
1. Select an adviser who will facilitate the process, build the appropriate team and ensure a suitable pace.
2. Follow a comprehensive planning process to ensure you achieve your ownership transition, financial security, leadership development and estate tax objectives.
3. Do not hesitate to consider any recommendation. Even disagreement merits a second opinion, so take that step if necessary.
4. Err on the side of overcommunication. Succession planning is a time to talk, listen and visit about potential solutions.
5. Know that each year your plan will be reviewed and refined to meet your goals, so there’s no reason not to start today.
News & Resources for You:
Looking for more information? A good starting point is the 2011 Legacy Report.
Not sure how to start the conversation? We can help.
The Legacy Project offers succession planning guidance for your family.