This step involves taking an in-depth look at your options around ownership transfer, financing, living arrangements, business structure, legal considerations like wills and estates, tax planning, off-farm investing and insurance. You’ll work with your advisors to narrow options and make some decisions.

 

Generating Options

You’ve made some critical decisions and gotten started on some important tasks. Now it’s time to look at the detailed business options and work with your advisors to figure out the best choices for your farm succession.

 

How this section works

You’ll be looking at everything from ownership transfer options to business structure to tax implications. We’ll give you some information to help you understand the options so you can discuss them as owners and successors and so you can discuss the options with your advisors.

You have the option to keep all your options open, narrow your options or make a definite choice. We also leave you room to write in your reasons for your choice. This saves you having to remember your thought process two weeks later when you’re meeting with your advisor.

You have the opportunity to look at all of your choices as a whole near the end of this step. You and your advisors can check for conflicts between decisions. You can also change your choices or rule out options at any time.

 

Tips

Do not try to make these decisions without some smart and trusted advisors to help you. Your advisors are specialists who know a lot about their area of expertise. Let them help you. There’s a lot riding on your decisions.

Tackle these topics in the order that makes sense for you. This will reduce the strain for you. For instance, if the owner and successor both demand the business structure be a corporation, go to that section and enter that choice. You’ll get to review the decision later anyway.