What Next? Planning Out the Succession

Succession planning has a whole lot going against it. It can seem daunting, and no one likes to talk about it because it usually means the loss of a loved one. One truth, though, is that we won't all be around forever. If you have a farm or ranch, you should be prepared for most things, and the future of your farm, beyond you, is key. You work long and hard for your farm, and what happens to it when you're gone is part of your lasting imprint and your legacy. So even if you feel hale and hearty, succession planning should be on your radar. You may even find that going through the process will help you run your business now. This article is part of a series taking you through some resources from the Farm Journal Legacy Project to help you with the process. Last week, we talked about how to bring up the conversation with your family. This week, we're helping you think about the next steps. Here's a handy scorecard to tell you how ready you are to deal with succession. Answer 20 questions, ranking each on a 1-5 scale, tally up your scores, and you can get a feel for where you sit. Are you aware of the complexities, ready to take other people's thoughts into account, have the ability to work as a family for a positive outcome? Asking yourself these questions will help you think more about the process. Now, think of everyone involved. You, your spouse, your children. Take a look at each of your individual goals. How do each of you address things like:  How lon

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