Estate planning for farm successions

Although Oklahoma farmers cannot plan for the weather, they can plan for their farm succession. A solid transition plan is critical in making sure a farmer’s wishes are established for the next generation.

A farm succession plan focuses on the future of the farm. When creating a succession plan, a farmer should focus on what the end result should be. This may include the future visions of the farm, income needed for retirement and health care and whether or not the farmer wants to stay involved in the farm operations. A farm succession plan may include transferring ownership to a family member, liquidating farm assets, selling the property or renting or leasing land and equipment. Risks need to be evaluated as well including cash flow problems, unresolved issues among family members and retirement funds.

A legal professional familiar with estate planning can help their client with their farm succession planning. Each family is unique and having professionals guide this process is important. In addition to an attorney, a family may also benefit from hiring a financial planner, accountant, banker and arbitrator. There are many important discussions that need to be had with regards to farm succession planning. Having these conversations and creating a well-thought out plan is invaluable in making sure the farm succession is a success.

Farm succession planning is important in making sure future generations stay engaged in farming and that a farmer’s wishes are met. A transition plan can reduce the amount of family stress and help make the transition seamless.

Source:, “Understanding farm succession planning“, accessed Oct. 24, 2017

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