Farm Succession and Estate Planning Workshop

Learn about the decisions involved with estate and farm succession planning

July 31, 2023, 9:32 am | Ann Johanns, Kelvin Leibold

­­­­AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is offering a two-part Farm Succession and Estate Planning Workshop to help farm families begin important conversations and start putting transition plans on paper.

Many families struggle with making succession plans for their family farm business.

“Families say they don’t know how to start talking about farm succession. We ask them, ‘What do you have now?' and ‘Where do you want to go?’ to get started,” said Kelvin Leibold, farm management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The workshop is planned as a multi-generational event for exiting owners and spouses and succeeding owners and spouses.”

Linda Cline, program coordinator for ISU Extension and Outreach in Webster County, said offering a farm business succession workshop is a result of needs expressed by area farm families.

“I hear individual family members express concerns about the future of the farm business, but many families have not taken the time to have those discussions between the generations involved,” said Cline. “This is an opportunity to begin those discussions. If it is important for the farm to stay in the family, then it is critical to have these discussions to share the goals, dreams, fears and expectations associated with succession planning.”

The first session will be held on Thursday, Aug. 24, from 5:30-9 p.m., with Kitt Tovar Jensen, staff attorney for the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State, and Kelvin Leibold, ISU Extension and Outreach farm and agribusiness specialist, speaking about farm succession.

The second session will be held on Thursday, Aug. 31, from 5:30-9 p.m. with Leibold presenting on estate planning.

During the first session, participants will learn the importance of farm business succession planning, farm succession structures, beginning farmer tax credits and working with an attorney. During the second session, participants will learn the language of estate planning; setting goals; gift, estate and inheritance taxes; and implementing an estate plan.

At the end of both sessions, participants will be equipped with options of legal steps and succession structures to begin conversations and make tough decisions.

Creating a carefully considered and thought-out succession plan can be helpful in providing a framework for implementing steps needed for an effective transition.

The workshops will be held at the ISU Extension and Outreach Webster County office, located at 822 Central Ave., Suite 102, in Fort Dodge.

Registration fee for both workshops is $150 per family of four or $50 per person. Pre-registration is required by Thursday, Aug. 17, and can be done online at https://go.iastate.edu/RGSF1Z.

For more information, contact ISU Extension and Outreach in Hamilton County, at 515-832-9597; Humboldt County, 515-332-2201; Webster County, 515-576-2119; or Pocahontas County, 712-335-3103.

Photo Credit: Handshake for deal. Group of farmers standing in a field examining soybean crop before harvesting, by Zoran Zeremski/stock.adobe.com

About the Authors: