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Comprehensive and Coordinated, Part 2

With the right combination of tools and techniques, John and Sara now have a secure retirement. They’ve sold the operation to the next generation, secured the land as a family legacy for their descendants, and substantially reduced their exposure to the estate tax. Succession planning and wealth management, they learned, are not just about money. The process is about helping people make good decisions and planning for the future.

Comprehensive and Coordinated, Part 1

A comprehensive succession plan is comprised of four separate, yet interrelated building blocks---Financial Security, Ownership Transition, Leadership Structure, and the Estate Plan. Due to their situation, it was very important to start with an analysis of John and Sara’s financial security. Logic dictates that until someone is reasonably comfortable with their financial situation, and the means of support for the rest of their lives, they won’t be willing to make the decisions and take the actions necessary for succession.

Grow it Forward

Though based on the growing prospects for ‘Wall Street’ investors in agriculture, the article Barbarians at the Farm Gate in The Economist (January 3rd, 2015) points out several opportunities and some obligations for today’s farming professionals. Among the latter is the unstated, but implied duty to plan for succession, if remaining a family in farming is your ultimate goal.

Time is Running Out...

Does it seem like you are hearing more about estate planning lately? Well, you probably are. The financial press and estate planning professionals (lawyers, CPAs and financial advisors) have all been working hard to get the word out that people need to act before the end of the year to take advantage of an unprecedented, and perhaps even historic, opportunity in estate planning. It’s a simple message, but one with tremendous impact: For the rest of 2012 only, which is quickly coming to a close, every American can transfer up to $5.12 million* free of federal gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax. * Minus certain gifts made in prior years.