Most farm families work together through the years. Children start helping out around the farm young. Some parents hope that their children will grow up and want to take over. Some may move away but others may stay.
As you get older, you might want to think about passing the farm onto your children. Even if you stick around and help out for a few more years, you may want to give them more of the heavy lifting so you can take the breaks that you need as you age.
Here are some tips to passing on the family farm.
Decide that you are going to make a succession plan. The first step in the process is deciding that everyone involved wants to come up with a plan of passing the farm on and then putting it on paper!
Involve everyone in the family. Even if you have a child who is not interested in the farm, he or she should be involved in the discussion. You can’t just hand over the farm without giving your other children something. That is simply not fair. Everyone needs to be happy with the results, especially those who are not going to get the farm.
Make it a discussion about the long-term goals of the farm, not just about giving the children the farm. Many older farmers continue to farm long into their retirement years. For this reason, they may not be completely giving up the farm. Instead, they are thinking about working together and giving the children more responsibilities. Some children may start to take over, asking their parents for help when needed instead of the other way around.
Passing down the family farm might be the dream but it comes with some challenges. It is important to get everyone on board and sit down and talk about the farm. It often helps to make the discussion more about where the farm is heading and what the plan is, instead of just handing it over. You should involve your lawyer and accountant so you can truly discuss how the business is doing and where you want it to go.
Contact us to help you keep the farm in the family.