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Expert: Succession planning important

(CIFN file photo)

Those of us in agriculture may put it off, but the truth is, you must start succession planning right away.

Arthur Littlefield, estate and succession planning specialist with Lincoln Financial Advisors, says acting fast could alleviate issues down the road.

“There are many problems with families where there will be a loss of communication and disappointment to the parents with children moving on and off the farm,” Littlefield said.

Losing farms does happen sometimes and Littlefield considers it tragic. Land could be transformed into shopping centers or housing developments when the original intent was for it to remain farmland.

“We want to make certain that the farm remains within the family,” added Littlefield.

Littlefield believes many parents don’t want to talk about succession planning since they consider themselves immortal.

Children want to know what is in store for their future and need to remember that fair is not always equal. For example, dividing a farm into fourths for four kids may seem fair, but that’s not the case for the one child who has helped on the farm his entire life.

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