Succession planning could safeguard the future of your farm

IN an ideal world, the older generation would discuss their plans for the future of the farm business openly with other members of the family, before such discussions become necessary. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and it could have a serious impact on both the family and the farm.

Succession planning can be an unpleasant and difficult task for families in the farming and forestry sectors, but it shouldn’t be avoided if you wish to protect the future of the business and to avoid conflict within the family.

In order to help farm and forestry families to secure and plan for their farm’s future, Farming Connect has arranged a series of Succession Planning workshops to help them take the needs of the family as well as the farm into consideration.

Topics to be discussed will include why farmers and foresters need to plan succession, independent support and guidance, transferring assets and responsibilities and support for the next generation.

Main speaker and succession expert Sian Bushell, who will lead the Farming Connect workshops, said:

“These events will provide the first step for you and your family to identify some of the main issues you will need to discuss and consider before planning what should happen to the business if and when your circumstances change. As times goes by, everyone’s circumstances change.”

Eirwen Williams, director of rural programmes on behalf of Farming Connect, which is funded by the European Development Fund and Welsh Government, said:

“Ideally, succession planning should not only involve plans regarding what happens after someone retires or dies, but should also consider how the business is managed to secure a future and an income to those taking over.

“Farmers need to consider not only who will inherit the farm and farmhouse, but also how the farming enterprise will continue and who will take over that responsibility. Planning in advance can also reduce tax liabilities and financial problems for the next generation.

“An open discussion about how the estate will be managed can help to prevent conflict within the family and the business. Failing to have a will in place could mean that those left behind are left to deal with rules regarding the lack of a will and the uncertainty regarding the future, as well as dealing with the grief of losing a loved one.”

The first event will be held at Cardigan Rugby Club on 18 June between 19:30 and 21:30.

Dates and times are as follows:

Booking is essential and spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To register for the event and to book your place, please contact Delyth Evans on delyth.evans@menterabusnes.co.uk or call 01970 600 176.

Farming Connect is delivered by Menter a Busnes and Lantra on behalf of Welsh Government and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

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