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Farm Estate and Succession Planning

RSS By: Andrew Zenk

This blog focuses on making complex and difficult topics in estate and business planning understandable and applicable to the reader.

Andy is an Agribusiness Consultant for AgCountry Farm Credit Services, Fargo N.D., a farmer owned cooperative and part of the Farm Credit System serving eastern North Dakota and northwest and west central Minnesota.

Father's Day: Working with Dad / Family

Jun 15, 2012


Father's Day: a time to celebrate all of the dads, grandpas and great grandpas in our lives. It's also a time for many in agriculture to be very thankful. Many producers have the privilege of working side-by-side with their family. No doubt, some days are tough; but those able to work with family are a very lucky group. This is an opportunity that should be carefully protected. A general strategy to protect this arrangement usually involves establishing some disciplines. 
First, it is absolutely crucial to build a solid succession and transition plan for your operation. It is never "too early" to develop a plan. A successful strategic plan generally pays off very well in preserving the operation for the next generation and realizing as much of the "fruits" of your labor through your career. 
Next, communication is key. Often it is hard for people to separate their "dad" from their "business partner." Also, communication with family can be difficult regardless of a business relationship. Open communication about this reality and developing a workable communication strategy is important. 
The next key discipline is assuring that you are proactively planning for the "what if's" in life and your operation. You need a plan that provides a road-map in the event of a death, disability, departure and other possibilities life may bring. Having a mutual agreement on an action plan for these "what if's" is absolutely crucial. Generally, these are handled with a proper estate plan for all involved and a collective agreement among all involved that is consistent with the respective personal estate plans. The contents of these plans are unique to every family and consulting with your professionals is a must. 
Those lucky enough to work with their family must ensure that they protect this gift. Protection comes with proper planning. This Father's Day, make it a goal to assure you have a plan in place. 
Happy Father's Day!



Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication provides a general overview on various topics and is strictly for informational purposes only. The reader should consult a qualified professional for advice based on his/her specific circumstances. AgCountry Farm Credit Services and the writer of this blog make no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site, and shall not be liable for any errors or omissions herein or for any losses or damages resulting from the display or use of this information. 
Required Disclosure Pursuant to IRS Circular 230: Pursuant to requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (1) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code; or (2) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.



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