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‘Succession planning is critical for the prosperity and happiness of everyone’

Being a good business manager is not about flying up front for a lifetime, and farming is no exception.

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Caroline Mason
Caroline Mason
‘Succession planning is critical for the prosperity and happiness of everyone’

Being a good business manager is not about flying up front for a lifetime, and farming is no exception.

It means having the ability to step back and let others fly into the space with fresh energy and ideas, recognising that this can help secure the business, rather than threaten it.

It is all about communication, honesty and action, so you can pass the baton, one generation to the next.

It is about allowing change to happen in a way which creates strength and celebrates the growth of abilities and ideas, so each generation is more capable and better equipped to face tomorrow.

Ultimately, succession planning is critical for the prosperity and happiness of everyone who is involved in a farming business.

Yet we know many farmers find it hard to let go, and many families find it hard to talk honestly with each other about it.

Our last succession supplement focused on starting the conversation and this booklet takes things to the next level – continuing those discussions, making decisions, and putting a plan in place.

Because there is one thing we know about succession, it is not a one-off chat.

It is a lifelong discussion which has to change and develop alongside you, your family and your business.

Caroline Mason Head of agriculture, Co-op

Key Documents Checklist

    • Lasting power of attorney:

      This puts a short-term plan in place to ensure businesses continue running and healthcare considerations are met in the event someone loses the capacity to make decisions
    • Last will and testament:

      Wills should clearly outline somebody’s final wishes after they have died. They ensure assets and property are divided as per the wishes of the holder. Wills should also outline who will carry out these final wishes, as well as provisions for a funeral.
    • Partnership agreement:

      This legally outlines the parameters of the relationship between partners and the breakdown of equity and profit between the parties concerned and how it will look when one partner passes away.
    • Transfer of Deed:

      Used when property changes hands to update who is the owner. Transfer of deeds can be relevant to succession or be included as part of a partnership agreement.
    • Banking documents:

      Banks need to be made aware of business partners and have a plan in place for transferring financial control when someone dies.
    • Tenancy agreement:

      Outlines the terms of the tenancy and whether they allow for succession. It is critical you speak to your landlord and are aware of what will happen.

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