The consequences of postponed succession planning


Talking with your family about farm succession needs to happen sooner rather than later, emphasizes Darrell Wade, president and founder of FarmLife Financial.

Wade’s key message at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference in London, Ont., was to start the succession conversation early. As he explains in the video below, his family didn’t, and when a tragedy occurred, there wasn’t a plan for what to do with the farm.

“It was something that wasn’t talked about 18 years ago … we lived the consequences of the right things not being done, so unfortunately my dad passed away when he was just 65 from complications due to a colonoscopy and that left our family, like I say, with no clear plan in place, and then unfortunately, our family farm was lost.”

With that as inspiration, Wade created FarmLife Financial to help people learn about, and start talking about, the “what ifs” in the world.

The conversation may not feel normal at first, Wade explains, but with persistence, it’ll soon start to feel natural.

He adds the most common mistake younger people make is being in a rush.

“All of us have these moments in our life where we just want to know what is the path is going to look like, where am I going to be in three, five and ten years ahead?” he says. “I think parents respect that appetite, or that hunger, or thirst for farming, but you want to approach it in a way that’s respectful … ‘tell me a little bit, mom and dad, about how you got the family farm. Tell me about some of those challenges you went through when you were in my position.'”

Listen to Darrell Wade discuss how to get that conversation going on farm succession at the Canadian Beef Industry Conference:

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