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Transitioning Ownership: 3 Strategies, Part 1

The optimal succession plan usually combines a lifetime transfer of both ownership and management of the business to the owner’s successor(s) with a contingency plan that becomes effective if the owner prematurely dies or becomes disabled.

Milestone or Millstone?

Planning for succession is a process. Since most plans are implemented incrementally, as in a gradual ownership transition, the end result isn’t really knowable. However, the process will have a lasting impact on the owner[s], the family, and the farm. Over time, it will become clear whether the family’s plan for succession is measured in gratifying milestones or grinding on participants like a millstone.

How Do They Do It?

The McGregors had a successful multigenerational farm business. Their kids grew up and wanted to work in the family operation. They got married and thought their spouses should be included. As parents and business owners, they’re interested in growing the operation while maintaining their financial security… What would you do?

"I've graduated! Now what?"

I’m never surprised by the influx of kids who want to come back and work in the family operation. I am, however, amazed by how quickly parents forget…