A lot of hard work goes into successfully running a farm
Farm succession planning and estate planning is a process that allows everyone to have complete clarity about the ownership and operation of the family farm. It helps to resolve possible future issues and remove any uncertainty. Planning for the transfer of a farm before your hand is forced will help to avoid any unpleasantness between family members.
Farms are a complex combination of valuable assets including land, equipment, commercial relationships and highly specialised knowledge, accumulated carefully and strategically over many years and across several generations.
Additionally, farming businesses are often structured through partnerships, trusts, and superannuation funds to suit the needs of the families or companies that run them.
A good understanding of farm business structure is important to be able to plan the estate and succession.
As there is no one-size-fits-all plan, getting expert advice is important. Robertson Hyetts has farm succession planning and estate planning lawyers to help you ensure that the farm is passed smoothly to the next generation, at a time of your choosing. We can also provide advice about ways to transfer the farm to the children without attracting stamp duty.
Farms are unique businesses and careful planning for business succession and estate management can reduce the risk of losing it all to tax or litigation when it is time to sell, retire or hand over to the next generation. It can also help manage family expectations and ensure that you are looked after in retirement.
- Estate planning – transfer of ownership of family and individual assets.
- Retirement planning – transition of business management and labour.
- Farm succession planning – transfer of management and/or control of the family farm business to members of the family.
- Wills and Powers of Attorney
- Self Managed Superannuation Funds – establishment and management
Trent McGregor is a Wills and Estates lawyer who specialises in farm and business succession planning and estate planning. To make an appointment with Trent, please call 03 5434 6666.
Farm Succession Planning and Estate Planning FAQs
Farm succession is the transition of your family operation to your children.
A succession plan is how you achieve the transition by moving the responsibility for management, for getting the work done and eventually ownership from you to your children.
Usually it is a stepped approach so you need to start early. This could involve:
· Giving some management responsibility to a certain family member,
· Next, making that person a genuine partner,
· Then, let them take ownership of the business separately from the land, and
· Finally, identify how they can buy the land.
Your succession plan should not be prepared and put on the shelf. The process of succession planning is ongoing and needs to evolve as your circumstances change. It should be reviewed and updated regularly.
It is important to consult a professional when creating your succession plan. Your accountant can help identify financial risks and opportunities and your lawyer will make sure that you haven’t left anything out.
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