Business Transitions: Family Farm and Business Succession Planning

Learn what to consider and how to communicate about succession, retirement, and estate planning; property transfers; and avoiding unnecessary taxes and costs.
Business Transitions: Family Farm and Business Succession Planning - Online Courses
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate
Sections: 8
Length: 6 hours
Language: English

Starting at FREE

Starting at FREE


Business Transitions: Family Farm and Business Succession Planning is for farm and business owners that are ready to begin considering succession planning, as well as other retirement and estate planning decisions. You may not yet know WHO you want to take over your business, and you may not have a formal strategy in place.

This course leads you through creating a "transition plan." Individually-designed business transition and management succession plans can help owners of successfully transition a business to the next owner or owners. This can help you avoid the costly and unnecessary taxes, disputes, and legal battles that can arise from simply willing a business upon your death.

Throughout this course, we use the phrase “transition planning” to refer to the different types of planning, used alone or in combination, to plan the transfer of a business from one successor to the next. While we often refer to farm business transition planning, the material in this course is relevant to any business.

Through videos, short readings, scenarios, and knowledge check questions, you will learn about the importance of communication and goal setting with family members, planning advisers, and other people who have an interest in your farm or business. You will also learn communication strategies to apply as you have these important conversations. You will learn a basic approach to understanding estate and succession planning opportunities and issues. Additionally, you will learn about fundamental issues involving transfer of property during your lifetime or following an owner's death. You will be guided through a series of asset inventory forms, which you can download and print to retain for your own records.

Although the course is intended to increase your knowledge and understanding about business transitions, it is NOT intended to be and should not be interpreted as legal advice or opinion concerning these issues or their application. You will need professional advice and counsel to apply these ideas to actual situations.

Who is this for?
  • Owners of farms, farm-related businesses, and other small businesses
What will you learn?

You will learn how to:

  • recognize the importance of business, retirement, estate, and succession planning
  • identify the role of family dynamics in estate and succession planning
  • communicate and work collaboratively to establish plans that are good for both family relations and the family business
  • recognize the factors to consider when creating a succession plan
  • evaluate the importance of goal setting
  • outline the various ways that property can be transferred, including transfer by operation law, intestacy, last will and testament, and trusts
  • understand why and how to inventory your assets and evaluate your ownership interest in them


Business Transition Farm Management Succession Adult Education Commodity Marketing

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Developing & evaluating intergenerational initiatives in diverse settings. Training Extension educators and other professionals in intergenerational programming. Establishing intergenerational strategies for civic engagement and environmental design.

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