FAQ’s (Farmer Asked Questions)

Got questions?

Most families started their journey right where you are today. They all had questions and maybe you do too. Our memberships are designed to help you find the right answers for your situation. Here are some of the common questions that come up with regards to farm succession planning and Farm Estate GPS.

Q: My family won't talk about farm succession. They avoid the issue every time I bring it up. What can I do?

A: This is probably one of the most frustrating things we come across. Sometimes the farming heir understands what is on the line, but the rest of the family is not motivated to take action. First, we would suggest that you take control of what you can control. Have you done the planning for your spouse and kids with what you have right now? It’s the right thing to do for your family. Plus, others might follow your example. Have you taken time to try to truly understand the other family members’ position? Is there a way to move forward if their biggest hang up is positively addressed? We are convinced that for many families, they don’t start a plan because the timing “just isn’t quite right”. They wait for a perfect time for everything to align, which rarely happens. Without trying to sound self serving, why not get them a subscription to our Seed or Grow Membership? Let them discover on their own terms what problems, and opportunities, are out there.

Q: How do you define "fair" vs "equal"?

A: Well this is a loaded question! Everyone has an opinion on their version of “fair”. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter how we define “fair” at Farm Estate GPS. What matters is how your family is going to define it! The first step is to recognize the difference between “market value” vs “family value”. For the very small percentage of families, we’ve worked with over the years, there is no difference. They run everything through the family farm operation at competitive market rates. An overwhelming majority of families have some form of discounted rent, cost share, and/or purchase valuations. The key is to set up a strategy that cash flows for the farming heir, provide adequate income for the parents, and treats the off-farm heirs fairly/equitably based on the parents’ definition of “fair”. When you think of fair and equal, do you mean equal pieces of the pie across every asset class in the estate? Do you think of equal total value distributed among all the kids? Do you think of equal income streams regardless of the underlying asset class? Equal usefulness of the principal? How about equal management responsibilities or equal risk? Check out many of the videos in our Grow Membership Video Library for examples.

Q: Hey, how do you guys get paid?

A: We have designed our Grow Membership to provide great information to farm families who are looking to educate themselves so they can ask better questions and understand their options. We get paid by the annual subscription. For those that are ready to roll up their sleeves and apply these tools to their own situation, we offer our Harvest Membership. We help families develop their goals, review their estate and farm situation, identify the gaps in their current plan, and map out a customized strategy to accomplish their goals. Then we work with their attorney and accountant to make sure the everyone is on the same page. We do charge a fee for this service at a customized rate. Please contact us to receive a quote. Lastly, there are financial products such as life insurance that often come up in optimizing a farm succession strategy. This may be in the form of funding a leveraged buyout, a cash equalization tool, or debt coverage. Quite honestly, we’ve come across a lot of junk products that benefit the financial company more than the customer. We’ve been doing this for over 18 years. We know what works, and what does not. We are not into the products with a lot of bells and whistles. It simply must do the job it’s needed to do at the lowest cost reasonably available. For those that are interested in coordinating their life insurance with their farm succession plan, we can shop it out to over two dozen carriers to find the best tool for the job. We get compensated by the companies we represent if or when life insurance is needed.

More Farmer Asked Questions (FAQ’s) to come!

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Tools, concepts, and strategies to help you make the best decisions for your situation.

Farm Succession Planning Starts Here

Our Grow Membership has hundreds of videos and other education material to help you be prepared for any farm family event. 

Congratulation on taking the first step towards securing your farms future through succession planning.  We will send you an email with great information shortly.