Farm Guide VIC : 2008 - 2009
110 Succession Planning Many of today’s older generation, who are the owners and/or controllers of family farming businesses, do not have a full appreciation of the many ways in which their business and personal affairs can be arranged to provide continuing ownership while transferring control, to provide continuing control but transferring ownership, to invite other family members into ownership and/or control either outright or progressively over a period of time. Further, they do not have a full appreciation of the dramatic effect on family farm business assets of certain Acts of Parliament such as family provision legislation. However, as is so often the case, they are either reluctant to seek assistance to better understand these issues or simply ignore that they exist. Farm succession planning is not a one person exercise. To be dealt with effectively, it needs to include all family members and the advisors of the farming business, whether that includes agricultural advisors, financial advisors, bankers and legal advisors. A meeting of the family is an essential first step. There are people in our communities whose business is conducting such meetings and who have the necessary expertise in facilitating such meetings. Their services need to be used. Those persons who have advised the farming business over the years need to be involved. In particular, the accountants of the family farming business and of the individuals who make up the owners of it need to be involved. Legal advisors are also an essential component of the planning and decision making process as the plans and decisions need to be documented and agreed upon. The most important step is deciding to commence a family farming business succession planning exercise and then following it through to completion. Too many families are destroyed by a failure of one or two key members of a farming family business to plan for succession in their farming business. Do not let this happen to your family. Article kindly provided by John Boag - Everingham Solomons.
2009 - 2010