; Lessons Learned from Estate and Transition Planning Workshops | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Lessons Learned from Estate and Transition Planning Workshops

Jason Johnson and Blake Bennet


Five regional Estate and Transition Planning Workshops for agricultural producers were held in Texas during 2014 to address basic and broader aspects of estate planning to include transition and succession considerations. 154 agricultural producers attended representing 357 family members, partners, or shareholders. Attendees owned or managed 77,930 acres in 58 Texas counties as well as properties in other states. When ranking the priority of their estate plans, participants ranked the following as their primary focus: (31%) Maximize wealth to be passed to heirs; (23%) keep land holdings intact and preserve the family’s agricultural legacy; (21%) ensure the financial well-being of a family member; and (20%) avoid family strife. To complement the discussion, a number of checklists, worksheets and resources were provided to help participants communicate their goals with members of their family and estate planning team.

Prior to the workshops, 85 percent of participants had a Will, and 63 percent had created power of attorney forms and medical directive to physician documents. In a four month follow-up survey (43% response rate), participants indicated substantive progress implementing information to complete their individual plans. Specifically, 88% of respondents indicated a more comfortable status about their estate/transition plans; 88% had taken a detailed inventory of the value of their estate; 85% had reviewed their retirement income needs and sources of income; 62% had reviewed their insurance coverage; 56% had met or scheduled a meeting with an attorney; and 79% of respondents indicated that they still had work to complete their estate/transition plans.