Know How / Succession planning

The smooth transition of a farm business from one generation to the next is a challenging – but incredibly important – process. See how the experts think you should start the succession planning conversation and read about the property, legal and tax implications you will need to consider.

Case studies

See all


Young farmer shares succession planning story and top tips

A fourth-generation young farmer has spoken out about how his family worked through their succession planning difficulties to encourage others to get prepared. Devon Young Farmers' Club county chairman Matt…


Video: Share farming partnership gives young farmer a break

Young farmer Aled Morgan faced a tough future in farming - with a family farm not big enough for both him and his brother to work on, there were few…


Will Sargent: Disaster shouldn't spark farm succession talk

Usually, when I write articles for Farmers Weekly I show them to my dad before sending them off. I always wanted to make sure the boss was happy with what…


How a young farmworker helped solve a succession crisis

The owner of an upland sheep and cattle farm in South Wales has sorted out her succession plan by bringing her farmworker into the business as a junior partner and…


Video: Farming family sells estate after 70 years

Succession planning is commonly defined as the process of passing a farm from one generation to the next. Done properly the outcome should provide clarity over the future of the…

Practical advice

See all


How a Family Charter can help farm succession plans

Clearly communicating ambitions and outlining them in a Family Charter can be key to improving the succession process that often proves so difficult for farmers. The rightful change in recent…


Lump sum decisions - wait until tax treatment is clear

Farmers are warned not to make any succession or retirement plans relating to Defra’s lump sum exit scheme until the full tax implications are known later this year. Gary Markham…


Succession planning expert Q&A: What farmers should know

Taking the first step to start succession discussions may seem like the hardest part, but it’s also important to know how best to run the planning process and how much…


Business Clinic: How to split capital gain on farm cottage?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Here, Chris Thorpe of Moore Scarrott advises on how a Capital Gains…


Business Clinic: How to protect farm from sons' divorce risk

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Here, Gavin Smith of Thrings advises on the tricky but not uncommon…


How discretionary trusts can help farm succession plans

Succession discussions can be difficult for any family, but particularly so for farmers with high-value assets often intertwined with a long-term lifestyle choice. Obstacles include people finding it difficult to…


See all


Why poor succession planning can impact mental health

Numerous aspects of farming can negatively impact upon mental health, but the one many might not have drawn a line to is the eternal pressures surrounding succession. Though succession is…


How a second house can be added to farm in a succession plan

Adding a second house to a farm as part of succession procedures can be made easier in Wales by a little-known planning exemption. The Welsh government introduced Technical Advice Notice…


The scheme helping new entrants start joint ventures

In late September this year, the Scottish Government launched an initiative to bring together existing landowners and new entrants who are struggling to find a way into farming. The Scottish…


Why acting early is key for a smooth farm succession

Succession doesn't just happen, so don't put it off - this was clear advice for farming families at Farmers Weekly's recent farm succession planning conference. Ensuring the smooth transition of…


Experts give their tips on farm succession

Despite the importance of succession planning, some 60% of family farms don’t have a written plan, according to Farmers Weekly research. Yet 58% of farm owners readily accept that the…


How to arrest the decline in small family farms

The small family farm, built on the labour of one or two people and typically covering less than 100ha, has traditionally formed the backbone of UK agriculture. These farms still…

Succession planning: Not easy, but essential

My father and I have finally tackled the thorny matter of succession. I can’t see why most farmers make such a fuss about it – it barely took us a…