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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.

Think You've Got It Done? Evaluate Your Plan.

Jul 30, 2013

iStock Three Generations   low resolutionFrom Legacy Moment (04/04/2013).
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Recall from last week: If you think you've got it done, but want to be sure, the remaining questions will help you evaluate your plan. They will help you make sure your plan addresses your goals and creates the legacy you want to leave. This is the second of two parts; the first 10 questions were included in last week's Legacy Moment.  

For each of the topics in question, there are supporting resources at to help you. Rate the following statements for Disagree/Neutral/Agree: 

Rate the following statements for Disagree/Neutral/Agree: 

11. All of our tenant/landlord relationships are supported by written lease agreements and when possible, buy/sell agreements.  

12. We are confident the federal- and/or state-imposed estate tax will not unduly burden or obligate our heirs or force a sale.  

13. We are making off-farm investments to ensure financial security and maintain financial security for the senior generation.  

14. Each management team member is engaged in a program for professional development to improve skills and enhance capabilities.  

15. Our entire plan has been reviewed and validated by professionals in accounting, legal, financial, consulting, etc.  

16. The family and the management team weigh decisions based first on the goals of succession and then the tax, legal, financial demands of the business. 

17. My family, professional advisers, alliance partners, landlords and loyal employees know and understand our plans for succession.  

18. Our plan ensures long-term financial security and provides a means for surviving family and special needs, in case of death or disability.  

19. Employment in the operation is based on job openings and written family employments. Each job is supported by a job description and fair market wage.  

20. The operation pays rent/lease payments to a landlord or landholding entity.

News & Resources for You: 

Gauge your progress by checking off each action step as you move through the planning process Succession Planning Action Guide. 

With so many components involved, it makes sense to periodically review your buy-sell agreement Buy/Sell Review. 

Find understanding, advice and support from people like you. Join eLegacyConnect, a new community of farm families working through succession planning. 

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