By Chris Osborne
Do you have a plan in place to ensure the success of your farming business into the future? Do you know what would happen to your business in the event of an unexpected accident? The importance of considering and formalising your succession and estate plans should not be overlooked.
In fact, in an effort to encourage primary producers and their families to get their succession plans in order, a new farm management grant has recently been introduced by the Queensland Government which provides financial assistance to Queensland primary producers to offset the costs of professional advice associated with succession planning. The grant will cover 50% of the professional fees up to a maximum of $2,500 per year.
Putting in place a succession plan can complex. Having been involved in a number of succession planning projects for our clients, here are a few tips to consider when it comes to thinking about your succession plan:
- Timing matters. Business succession should be mapped and planned with enough time to take appropriate actions to ensure a smooth transition. It is never too early or late to start thinking about succession but generally needs to be planned at least three to five years from the succession.
- Put it in writing. All too often we see disputes between family members and/or business partners that could have been avoided had discussions or meeting outcomes been formally documented. Formal agreements do not have to be complex.
- Succession and Estate Planning are not the same. Business Succession Planning and Estate Planning, while both can be planned for or dealt with at the same time, are not the same and have very different focuses and outcomes. These activities should be considered separately and we can assist you with both activities.
If you haven’t yet formalised your succession plan or perhaps recent events have you considering if you should revisit your plan, now might be the time. I encourage you to give me a call on 07 3233 6400 to discuss your personal situation and how we might be able to assist with your succession planning.
More information on the grant is available at http://www.qraa.qld.gov.au/current-programs/farm-management-grants