Planning for the Future
There has been plenty written recently about planning for the future given the changes which are pending in the agricultural industry, but one type of planning which seems to be in short supply is the planning on how to pass on your farm to the next generation.
In a recent survey carried out by NFU Mutual, it found that 52% of farmers surveyed did not have a formal succession plan in place. Discussions and decisions with regard to the farm, which may have been in the family for many generations, is always difficult in order to ensure that all parties are treated both fairly and also equitably.
Difficult though it may be, starting talking about the future and plans for succession is the first step to putting something in place which will hopefully be to everyone's advantage.
The following are some questions which might be a starting point to discussions amongst the family:
1. What role which will each family member play going forwards
2. What direction is the business moving in long term
3. Who owns the assets of the farm
4. Do all parties have the necessary skills to run the business
5. Does provision need to be made for those who do not want to be involved in the business
There are many other factors to take into account, but the above are a starting point, from which further discussion will flow.
This is one of, if not the most important decision that is made in any business and therefore seeking appropriate and timely professional advice is vital. These discussions need to include all the professional advisors who help the business and seeking their advice early in discussions is always beneficial.
Here at PFK we have the knowledge and experience to provide advice with regard to succession planning and are also able to help facilitate discussions if that is needed. We work closely with many of the local accountants and solicitors and therefore are well placed to help with what can be difficult discussions and decisions about the future of farm businesses.
T: 01768 866611