Passing It On: An Estate Planning Guide for Wyoming's Farmers and Ranchers contains information and worksheets that will help with creating a plan for transferring an agricultural operation to the next generation. It includes chapters on developing common goals, wills, gifting, estate tax, long-term care, and many other important topics. An Excel spreadsheet is also provided for creating a personal financial statement.
Estate Planning: Planning Ahead, Difficult Decisions is an 11-part series that addresses such topics as probate, death certificates, disinheritance, guardianship, and power of attorney. Print copies of this series are available at the Washakie County Extension office.
How do we transition the farm or business management skills from one generation to the next? This can be a very difficult process, but there are resources available to help. The UW Ag Legacy website has some good online training courses available:
- The Lasting Legacy courses include insight and resources for managing and improving inter-generational relationships, steps for transferring personal possessions with emotional value, and planning and documenting the transfer of financial assets and real estate.
- The Management Succession courses help answer the questions "where are we?" and "where do we want to go?" Using case studies, these course highlight the interpersonal and business issues that can get in the way of successful transition of management on a farm or ranch.
Another resource you may be interested in comes from the folks at Agriculture Strategy. The book Farming with Family Aint Always Easy is available in print and as an audiobook. The author points out, "the dysfunctional manner in which families make and implement decisions together creates dysfunctional businesses...dysfunctional managers, crazy families and out of control business management."
For additional information or help with farm risk management decision making, contact John Hewlett, Farm and Ranch Management Extension Specialist for University of Wyoming.