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Your Ultimate Harvest
Kevin Spafford, CFP®
Having just completed five succession planning workshops for American Soybean Association, I’m keenly aware of both your need to and your hesitation for initiating the succession planning process. Yet waiting doesn’t make it any easier. In fact, time is your ally as well as your nemesis. As the latter, time gives us false hope and causes us to think there’s always tomorrow…
As the former, the more time we have to plan and implement, the more opportunities we have to ensure the outcome generates the exact results you want. Succession is affected by everything, family dynamics, economic cycles, land values, tax law, and environmental regulations, just to name a few. There’s no way to narrow it down to a single issue or prescribed standards of solution.
Without a plan the odds are severely stacked against the long-term, multigenerational success of the family and the operation. In considering the process and involving the family, consider the following questions:
- Do our goals include continuing the family farm and passing the reins to a well-prepared next generation?
- Do our goals focus on preserving our farming legacy and using the family’s land to provide financial security for future generations?
- Do our goals include growing family wealth and providing future generations with career opportunities in farming?
Use The Ultimate Harvest assessment provided below to focus your thoughts and encourage the family to share their desires.
Like everything else in farming, multigenerational success is the result of planting the right seeds, nurturing an appreciation for farming and then guiding the next generation through a defined transition process. Your plan must contain provisions for the ownership transfer, leadership development, financial security and estate taxes. Beyond that, everything else is a measure of leadership. It all depends on the capabilities of people involved in the process. This self-assessment can help you gauge where you stand. (Tool available for public access - with no login required - through January 11, 2015.)
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Have questions specific to your family? We’re always happy to schedule a complimentary phone consultation to discuss your family’s succession objectives, review potential next steps, and determine how we can help.
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