Monday, May 27, 2024

Assemble Your Team

amanda huber
Amanda Huber,
Peanut Grower Editor

Maybe it’s because I am getting older as are my parents or that I have now experience with a passing friend’s estate, but succession planning has been on my mind of late. It’s a complex process even with the simplest of situations. Planning for the future of your farm, land and legacy, while protecting heirs from burdensome taxes and regulations, is much more complicated.

You don’t farm alone. You have your spouse, children, partners, lenders, buying point, Extension, accountant, lawyer, suppliers and more. Because of the complexity in succession planning, it is not a do-it-yourself process either. One of the first steps is to pull together your team.

According to the American Farm Bureau Financial Services “Your Complete Guide To Succession Planning” found on the Learning Center website, “Succession planning is not just about the future of your farm or ranch; it’s a blueprint to preserve your agricultural legacy and protect the heirs who will inherit it…it’s essential to have a team of professionals who can advise you on best practices and put all of the paperwork in place to ensure a smooth transition.”

Who should be on your farm or ranch succession planning team? Many of those same people who are involved in your farming operations with a few additions.

The AFBF guide says an ideal succession-planning team includes the following nine people: current partners, heirs, accountant, lawyer, insurance agent, lender, financial planner, farm consultant and a Farm Service Agency payment limit eligibility advisor.

In “Finding A Path Forward” on page 16, Southwest Georgia peanut farmer Casey Cox Kerr talks about the gift her dad gave to her before her return to work on the farm and the gift she hopes to leave for her own daughter. Being able to do this calls for a good, thoughtful succession plan.

Planning ahead is a familiar part of farming, just make sure to also work on a farm succession plan.

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