Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – Do you have a succession plan for your family farm?
Negotiating the rough waters of succession can be difficult. However, Chris Herrmann, Agriculture Business Development Manager for connectFirst Credit Union, says nothing will get done if you don’t start working on it.
“You need to start working on a plan to get to a finish,” he says.
Herrmann, who has helped countless farm families negotiate a succession plan, believes getting everyone on the same page is vital and can save money.
“The emotions and the financial picture have to connect at some point so that everyone is in agreeance. It might not be 100 percent in agreeance. But we have to be close so that we don’t have that family risk and avoid the expensive, after-the-fact costs of infighting within the family.”
Eric Dalke, a lawyer with Dalke Law Office in Calgary, says if non-farming children are involved, a succession plan can help steer things in the right direction.
“It’s an even bigger sigh of relief when son or daughter have a path to take over the farm, mom and dad have a path towards retirement and confidence the farm will continue, and there’s going to be harmony.”
Herrmann says getting things down on paper with the help of your advisors can keep the farm intact and keep everyone in the family on good terms.
“Long term, once you have built that path, you save a lot of time. Time is money. And with advisor fees, you pay a little bit now instead of a whole bunch later. I think these are all great points to think about.”