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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.

Which Workshop Should I Attend?

Jul 02, 2013

LegacyWorkshopAmesFrom Legacy Moment (06/28/2013).
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You're not alone if you're wondering, "Where do I start and who can help?"

Each week, Legacy Moment is sent as a planning tip and encouragement to help farm families get a solid start on the road to multigenerational success. From readers like you, I receive a number of related questions or comments. From time to time, I receive updates from reader families engaged in the process; their reports are usually shared to inspire our efforts and to ask us to continue offering this outreach.

This morning, I opened my e-mail to find yet another invitation to attend a workshop about planning for succession. This one is presented by a university Extension and sponsored by a local ag lender. It is billed as a gathering of experts and promises a full day of learning. However, the agenda is clearly focused on estate planning and a number of techniques designed to eliminate the estate tax in passing assets from one generation to the next.

Though forthright in their intent to inform farm families about options, the typical estate planning lecture falls short of a discussion about how, when, why and who of actually planning for succession. It glosses over the obstacles in keeping the farm together and the family talking. It implies that legal documents and an insurance policy will solve the typical issues of succession. It's not that life insurance and legal documents aren't important—it's just that too many professionals fall back on an easy fix rather than address the difficult topics.

Succession solutions help you achieve your goals. For most, those goals are founded in maintaining the farm as a going concern, providing financial security for families actively working in the operation and preparing the next generation to lead. A comprehensive solution is multifaceted and intended to work for the owner, the family and the farm.

The Farm Journal Legacy Project, sponsored by DuPont Pioneer, includes a series of workshops designed to get you started. A single workshop cannot provide a succession plan, but it is a good first step on the path to success. If you've attended a workshop in the past, Farm Journal has scheduled a couple of "201" workshops to provide a next level of education, new tools and planning best practices. The 201 workshops will be held in December, so mark your calendars now and plan to attend on Dec. 9 in Lincoln, Neb., or on Dec. 13 in Indianapolis, Ind.

 To register now for one of our July workshops:

By phone, call Farm Journal Events at (877) 482-7203.

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