(Rural Roots Canada) – It’s always a good time to start the farm transition conversation with your family.
That’s according to Elaine Froese, Farm Transition Coach, professional speaker, and author. She’s also known as the farm whisperer.
There’s no time like the present to start the conversation that you’ve been putting off. Froese says one of the biggest hurdles she sees is that parents aren’t communicating their expectations to the next generation.
“I’ll use my own family as an example. My brother and I have always been wealthier than my parents. So, when we had that estate planning meeting in 1998 with my parents, I was very clear about my expectations. I had none. And that’s the problem. Parents aren’t talking to their adult children about their expectations in terms of the estate,” says Froese.
Froese says you need to remember that there’s an important distinction between transition and estate, and each merits its own conversation.
“Transition is for the transfer of labour, management, and farm ownership. An estate is for when you die, and that’s around your assets. That’s two separate plans. They’re interwoven, of course, but they are two different conversations.”
But what if you have a will? Isn’t that enough?
“No! That’s not a succession plan. That’s an estate plan for when you’re dead. I have a huge bias towards gifts and transfers with a warm hand, not a cold one.”
If you have a farm succession question for Elaine, you can find her on the AGvisorPRO app.