Including a separate section for farm succession, in addition to our page on business succession, may seem redundant. After all, the modern farm is unquestionably a business. But planning for the successful succession of the family farm poses special challenges and risks, and that warrants separate consideration.
In our experience, farm families are generally hard working and practical, but there is often a significant diversity in the perspectives of different family members. Not uncommonly, questions of control, fairness, and the balancing of competing interests are presented, and having productive conversations about those topics is difficult.
We believe in the value of the family farm, and we enjoy working with farm families. When requested and appropriate, we are prepared to go beyond just creating a basic estate plan for whichever generation of the family may currently be the owner and steward, but instead to help facilitate a broader, more collaborative approach to succession of the farm which empowers the family with information about the options and resources available and includes the input and perspectives of all relevant family members. Our goal overall is to help to create a plan which protects the farm and its value and optimizes its benefits for all concerned.