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SPRPW12BK

Succession Planning for Farming Families

NZ $35.00
incl GST
Tim Black Frazer Weir
Tim Black
Partner
Anderson Lloyd
Dunedin
Frazer Weir
Partner
Polson Higgs
Christchurch

Published: 8 June, 2012
Pages: 37

Introduction

Family farming has long been held as the corner stone of the New Zealand agricultural system. However for this to continue the farming business must be able to successfully transfer its assets from one generation to the next. In recent times, as part of this process, society has been more inclined to expect that all members of the family will be treated “fairly”. This issue has become more pronounced with rising capital land values and unmatched increases in productive returns.

It is considered by some that it is becoming increasingly difficult to successfully transfer farming businesses between generations. However there are families which are managing this process well and successfully assisting their sons and/or daughters into the farming industry. Accordingly, if appropriately managed, a fair and successful outcome can be achieved in most instances.

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the attributes that these families exhibit which has enabled them to manage this process, and the implications that the different ownership structures will place on the process and the parties involved.

Farm succession is an emotive issue, which attempts to balance the following factors:
  • Retaining an adequate level of retirement income for the parents.
  • Being “fair” to all of the family.
  • Maintaining the farm business as an economically viable operation.

When managed well farm succession can result in a strong family unit where all parties view the process as being fair and equitable.  However when the process is not managed well it can cause rifts within a family which will inhibit relationships for years to come. Often in these situations the parties end up fighting over issues which could have been avoided through communication, planning and good structuring, and in the process incur significant accounting and legal costs.

“One size does not fit all” is a saying that effectively summarises this issue. Within this presentation we intend to focus on the conceptual issues that you need to take into account when working through farm succession planning with clients.

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