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.
The Benefits of a Plan
Aug 15, 2012
From Legacy Moment (08/10/2012).
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Accomplishing goals requires some structure. Planning for ownership transition and the future of your family farm is no different. A comprehensive succession plan will allow you to maintain your financial security while the operation provides for the income needs of a new owner/manager and each family working in and dependent on the operation.
Beyond the financial considerations, a comprehensive plan also ensures the next generation is well-prepared for a leadership role. Let's not forget about the estate tax; a complete plan always includes provisions to satisfy, eliminate or mitigate the tax.
Additional benefits of a comprehensive plan for succession include:
- Ensuring a smooth management/ownership transition, so that all owners who are active in the operation are well-informed and the next generation is prepared for the opportunity.
- Fortifying operational strength by encouraging each member of the management team, regardless of generational order, to participate in a professional development program.
- Making certain that no matter what happens, including premature death, disability or dissolution, the operation can continue and there's adequate capital to weather the challenges of adversity.
- Providing a lasting legacy, a testament to your efforts and an example for future generations to follow.
A comprehensive succession plan is merely a binder full of information until you bring it to life. The process of planning combined with implementing the various elements along the way is a big step toward peace of mind, control through growth and a legacy of success.
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Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS