Farm Succession Planning – The Documents

In this last article of our series, we’ll discuss various succession planning documents in more detail.

Most people understand that a Will sets out the distribution of assets to beneficiaries and appoints executors. Superannuation is an asset not automatically covered by a Will, so Binding Death Benefit Nominations are important to ensure that superannuation is directed to the intended recipients.

Powers of Attorney should never be neglected because they ensure continued asset management in the event of a loss of capacity (either sudden or gradual). However, many people aren’t aware that Powers of Attorney can be tailored to create strategic planning opportunities. For example:-

  1. Parallel Powers of Attorney can be prepared, empowering different people to manage different assets;
  2. Powers of Attorney can include limitations, or guidance, as to how assets should be managed;
  3. The Power of Attorney can take effect immediately in relation to a specific asset, to give the next generation control over one aspect of farm management for the purpose of obtaining experience.

A Family Agreement can help to bring together all of the various documents, to provide an over-arching strategy, and to include guidance, wishes, or instructions that cannot be included in other documents. Sometimes it can be useful to prepare the Family Agreement in conjunction with your family. However, whether the Family Agreement should be discussed with, or disclosed to, the next generation, depends on your family circumstances.

This is the last in a series of 6 articles on farm succession planning. Check out the full series of articles and resources here –

If you have any questions or if you would like to start the planning process, contact Trent McGregor today in Bendigo on 5434 6666 or Castlemaine on 5472 1588.

Trent McGregor

Wills & Estate Planning Lawyer