; Farm Succession and Estate Planning with Personal Coaching for Participating Families | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Farm Succession and Estate Planning with Personal Coaching for Participating Families

Brian Tuck


Succession planning is a challenging but necessary process for most farm families. To increase farm clientele’s skills in this area, county faculty from Oregon State University (OSU) and Washington State University (WSU) Extension conducted a farm succession planning educational program in eastern Washington and Oregon. The program was funded by the Western Center for Risk Management Education and USDA-CSREES. From 2006 to 2008, OSU and WSU Extension faculty held a series of three farm succession planning workshops at each of six locations across the region. Participation in these workshops greatly exceeded expectations with 40 to 60 participants at each workshop. Workshop topics included reasons to develop a farm succession plan; communicating successfully with all family members involved; identifying appropriate professional input; an overview of relevant state laws; discussion on estate laws and writing wills; conducting successful family meetings; overcoming difficulties encountered in the process; making good use of attorneys’ time; specifying inheritance of treasured personal items; protecting the business in the event of a sudden death; and getting motivated to develop a farm succession plan. The 90 families who committed to developing a succession plan received free coaching throughout the project. All coaches had experience in business and/or finance and were hired and trained by WSU. They contacted client families on a regular basis to encourage them through the succession planning process, to assist with goal-setting and to facilitate family meetings. At the completion of this program over 10 farm families completed farm succession plans with many others in progress.