Planning for succession is an area of business management farmers are notoriously bad at. Most people in the industry will have heard of cases where families have fallen out due to the lack of a clear strategy for handing on to the next generation.
According to one adviser, it is important to realise ensuring an equal split of assets between children is not necessarily the best option.
See also: 8 steps for farm succession planning
“Most farming businesses can only support one successor,” says Ian Naylor of Staffordshire law firm Bowcock & Pursaill.
There has to be an acceptance that the division of assets will not be equal, and everyone should be aware of the plans so that there are no nasty shocks when a death happens.
In some cases, it may be necessary to involve a mediator, says David Hooper of Brown & Co, to pull all parties together to devise a suitable plan.
While this will involve a cost, it is likely to be considerably cheaper than going to litigation further down the line.
And what about those who are ageing, own a farm and have no family members to pass it on to when they retire or pass away?
Fortunately, there are schemes throughout the UK to match up landowners with would-be new entrants, integrating them with some kind of succession plan.
This week’s Farmers Weekly will be covering all these issues in a special report, so make sure to pick up your copy on Friday (25 May), or subscribe online.