How your family can make it through succession...and stay a family


If you talk about big picture stuff at the very face-to-face kitchen table, your family is far more likely to successfully navigate the farm transition from one generation to the next.

Dr. Tom Deans, author and intergenerational wealth expert, says that when business owners (looking at you, farmers!) visit the topic early and often with their advisors and farm teammates the better off everyone involved will be.

Transitioning the farm business doesn’t get better with time, either. Deans says that farmers are not alone in the enormous task of moving wealth and working with family — both public and private, small and large businesses struggle with the same things. Where agriculture is quite unique, however, is when the leading generation conflate ownership with equity. Farm families are usually the only ones that use the “one day this will all be yours” sweat equity trap.

Deans, who is featured as the closing keynote speaker for the upcoming TechTourLIVE event, says in this mess of farm transfer, it’s perspective that’s usually the first casualty — the movement and handing over of wealth is a scary proposition. Deans says, families can make it through the other side intact.

“It doesn’t have to be a trainwreck, even though that’s what we hear most about.”

Perhaps the toughest pill to swallow he says, is that after you’re gone, it doesn’t get better — siblings and family members turn to lawyers and the court system to settle the wealth transfer, often leading to broken relationships and a gutted farm business.

“Silence is what tears farm families apart,” he says.

Want your farm succession to be a success? Hear more from Dr. Tom Deans and the rest of the incredible line up for #TechTourLIVE March 12 to 15, 2019 across Western Canada. Follow the link to reserve your tickets now. 

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