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.
Reasons to Plan
Apr 15, 2014
From Legacy Moment (04.11.2014).
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As an advisor to family business owners, I know success is no accident and failure is never the intent. So what happens, and why do most businesses fail in the transition from one generation to the next? What keeps an owner--one who has weathered the storm, risked it all year after year, tied it together with baling wire during the lean times, and stood his or her ground no matter what--from facing the inevitable and planning for the unavoidable?
Succession is the next challenge; it is what separates the good from the great, the committed from the indifferent. A well-executed plan for succession is the difference between success and significance.
Here are a few good reasons to plan for succession:
1. You want the farm to remain in the family.
2. You want a smooth ownership transition.
3. You want to provide opportunities for future generations.
4. You want to provide fair and equitable distributions to your heirs.
5. You and your dependents need financial security.
6. You don't want to pay the estate tax.
7. You don't want your farm converted to non-farm use.
8. You don't want your land farmed by an ever-larger neighbor.
9. You want the farm to continue as a testament to your hard work.
10. You care about the farm and those who are dependent on the operation.
If you're planning, take a couple of minutes to let me know how it's going. If you're not, please let me know what we can do to help. Write to Ask Kevin. The Farm Journal Legacy Project is an excellent resource for you to get started.
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Tomorrow, the duty to run the farm may fall to sons, daughters and/or employees. Are they ready to lead?
Wishing all the best of Easter to you and yours!
Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS.