With family farming businesses undergoing consolidation and becoming more professionalised over recent decades, the question of succession planning remains a key challenge.
Larger balance sheets and improved profitability means increased opportunities for those on-farm but raises more questions about how to treat those off-farm fairly.
A good succession plan is crucial to ensuring everyone in the family understands what their future looks like. Financial advice has a role to play in unpacking some of the key issues in farm succession.
How quality financial advice can help your succession plan:
- Do you know how much you need to retire?
- What are the options to fund this? What are the pros and cons of each option?
- Is there a property or properties that need to be purchased for retirement?
- If assets are to be set aside to fund retirement, how can those assets then be used to generate an income, and potentially be available for off-farm children as part of their later inheritance?
A financial adviser can help provide answers to these questions and present solutions in a clear way.
Building off-farm assets tax effectively
- If retirement is still some time away, building wealth off-farm to assist in retirement and succession planning down the track is an area where financial advisers can assist, especially in good years when cashflow is tracking well.
- Quality advice can offer tailored solutions to suit your objectives, taking into consideration the mix of investments, the best structure/s for any off-farm investments, and how building these assets might fit into a future succession plan.
- Funding potential future aged care costs is a key area to be addressed during succession planning.
- A financial adviser can analyse likely aged care outcomes, costs and options, and map out a plan for how this can be funded when the time comes.
Protection for the next generation
- An outcome of many succession plans is the transfer of assets, but also liabilities, to the next generation.
- In some instances, liabilities may be increased with the need to provide retirement funding for the older generation, as well as potentially compensating those off-farm.
- A financial adviser can analyse personal insurance needs (such as life and disability insurance), to ensure assets and livelihoods are protected in the worst event.
- The outcome of any succession plan should include working with a qualified legal professional to ensure the agreed outcome of the succession plan is reflected in your estate plan, along with various other points where legal advice will be required.
- A financial adviser can assist by acting as an intermediary to communicate the current position and desired outcomes with your chosen legal professional to help smooth the process.
If you would like to learn more about the topics discussed in this article, please contact your local Financial Adviser.