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Leave a Legacy

RSS By: Kevin Spafford, Legacy Project

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.

One Overwhelming Concern

May 22, 2013

Puzzle pieces   MicrosoftFrom Legacy Moment (05/17/2013).
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For all of you who did, thank you for responding to last week's "Three Wishes." I sincerely enjoyed reading your feedback. However, due to the overwhelming response, it might take a while for me to get back to you.

One of the comments I received reminded me that maybe I haven't been clear about the science and art of succession planning. The process is a balance of both, though succession planning is more art than science.

The rudiments of succession planning are founded in the sciences of tax planning, financial security and legal documentation; no small feat, yet simple compared to the emotional issues. Consider the task of bringing people together to discuss money, careers/jobs, compensation, boss/subordinate, duties/responsibilities/accountability, fairness, family, etc. It's all emotion, and no one wants to go down that track unless they have some reassurance that the journey is going to be satisfying and successful.

That's where the art comes in. Starting with a defined set of shared goals and then building specific plans to help a family achieve the objectives related to operational integrity, financial security and leadership development will take the right combination of art and science.

Though not every situation is obviously or immediately solvable, there are an infinite number of solutions to the succession planning puzzle. The good news is, it's up to you.

So, what's your biggest challenge—that overwhelming concern that seems to stop you before you start? Don't concern yourself with spelling, grammar and punctuation. Your responses will not be published. Please feel comfortable writing directly to me at 'Ask Kevin.'


News & Resources for You:

"When is the right time to start succession planning?" "What if our family can't see eye-to-eye about our goals?" These questions and more are addressed in the Legacy Project's FAQs.  

Didn't find the answer you need? We're here to help.

As a complement to the Farm Journal Legacy Project, eLegacyConnect engages and encourages farm families through vital succession planning resources. Use your Farm Journal Membership Code (FAMILY) to access your 14-day free trial. 

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