A Guide to Succession: Sustaining Families and Farms

GRDC - Judy Wilkinson & Lyn Sykes

Type: PDF
Knowledge level: Introductory

Farm Table says:

We love this guide; great guiding principles from different perspective, case studies, and checklists.

The aims of this publication are to increase understanding and to stimulate communication about succession planning between family members and also with their advisers.

The authors note that succession planning is like any other plan: the earlier you start the more options you will have. They recommend starting when the new generation is entering the business, rather when someone is leaving the business.

They recommend working with experts in each area of succession planning to work through the maze of implications including CGT, stamp duty, and GST.

The guide includes guiding principles from a range of advisors:

  • agricultural consultant
  • accountant
  • lawyer acting in the interests of the asset holder
  • lawyer from the perspective of the farming family
  • financial planner
  • facilitator
  • generation consultant

There are also a number of case studies. Studies include:

  1. unhappy daughter-in-law
  2. father feeling over-committed
  3. generational conflict
  4. parents ready to retire and move
  5. discomfort about debt
  6. drought and wanting to sell
  7. poor family history
  8. parents to retire
  9. concern over father’s new wife
  10. poor health
  11. different ideas about management
  12. decision to leave farming
  13. including young family members
  14. concern about profitability
  15. parents need a hand
  16. a sad story

There is also tips and checklists to help you start thinking about the succession planning process.

The final thought given by the author is “It is important to understand that when a family is given an opportunity to express their hopes and concerns they do so. The potential is that a can of worms may be opened. The meeting opportunity is a can opener, it does not create the worms.”

2007 - Australia - GRDC - Judy Wilkinson & Lyn Sykes
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