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.
I Don't Think a Plan is Necessary If...
Apr 08, 2014
From Legacy Moment (04.04.2014).
Please join us for future issues,
delivered via email each Friday.
No doubt about it, planning for succession is a big job. It requires a lot of commitment. It may cost money and there's no guarantee it will work as you intend.
So, why plan? To be blunt, it really isn't necessary if:
- You don't want the farm to remain in the family.
- You prefer that your family fight over the spoils after you're gone.
- You don't care about the farm and those who are dependent on the operation.
- You think your family will prefer liquidation to settle your estate.
- You assume your neighbors are better farmers than your descendants.
- You don't want a smooth ownership transition.
- You don't want fair distributions; you prefer equal as prescribed by the state.
- You and your dependents don't need financial security.
- You want to pay your full-proportionate share of estate taxes.
- You don't mind if your farm is converted to non-farm use.
- You don't mind if your land is farmed by an ever-larger neighbor.
- You hope the highest bid is a testament to your hard work.
- You don't want to provide opportunities for future generations.
The hard truth of planning for succession is this: it's not necessary if you and your descendants prefer the family farm ends on your watch.
News & Resources for You:
Ready to kick-start your plan? Online registration is open now for Legacy Project Workshops in Syracuse, N.Y.; Omaha, Neb.; Moline, Ill.; and Austin, Minn.
You're not alone. Too many people procrastinate when it comes to succession planning, citing "unique circumstances."
Are you inclined to forge ahead briskly, or are you more the cautious, reluctant type? Gain insight into your natural tendencies with this quick eLegacyConnect assessment.