Transferring Your Farm or Ranch to the Next Generation: How to Combine Legal, Economic and Social Decision-making

An important goal for many Montana farm/ranch family enterprises is transferring land and business to the next generation. The process is challenging because it includes a complex web of economic, legal, and family social decisions. Often taxes and legal decisions become the focus of attention while the family’s social decisions about succession planning are ignored. Or, individuals assume that any problems, disagreements or differences among family members regarding succession will be worked out when the legal and tax processes are in order. Serious problems can arise for both the younger and older generations however, if the transfer and succession processes never begin. Often families avoid planning because they do not want to deal with the conflict that arises because of the differences among members regarding goals, values and perceptions of fairness and equity. This publication emphasizes the interdependence of the family and the business rather than viewing them as two separate entities, because transfer planning and succession planning are important to both.

Author: 
Marsha A. Goetting
Sharon M. Danes
Virginia Knerr
Chuck Leifeld
Garry Bradshaw
Publisher: 
Bozeman, MT: Montana State University Extension
Page Numbers: 
20
Publication Date: 
January 1, 2016
Literature Category: 
Reports and Studies