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.
You Won't Reap What You Don't Sow
Jun 12, 2012
From Legacy Moment (06/08/2012).
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For most of the country, planting season is a near memory. As you pause for the next activity on the to-do list, take a moment to imagine what kind of harvest season you’d have if you didn’t plant a crop. It may sound a bit like a cliché, but you won’t reap what you don’t sow.
Now, look a bit further down that to-do list. See the notation, "Do something about succession"? A similar line has been on every to-do list you’ve written for the last couple of years. But, for whatever reason, you haven’t even begun. What are you waiting for? Planning for succession is one of those responsibilities that falls squarely on your shoulders. It’s easy to procrastinate, because nobody says you have to do it.
However, if you don’t plan, there’s a government program that will take care of it for you. It won’t cost you a dime, and it won’t affect your lifestyle. It is an all-inclusive program designed to take care of every concern. You see, the farm will pass to a next generation. The results from your life of work and toil will fall to someone else. The government will help your descendants distribute your assets, ensure your debts are satisfied and allocate fairly to your heirs.
There are plans for every manner of contingency. The government is prepared to help whenever, wherever and whatever circumstances may befall you. The outcome may not be free, and of course the process is subject to the government’s terms and conditions, but for you, during your lifetime, doing nothing is painless and trouble-free. The choice is yours.
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Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.