I grew up on a dairy farm on Nicomen Island near Mission, BC and have immediate family and relatives operating dairy, poultry and crop farms. As co-executor (with two brothers) of my father’s estate, I know all too well the result of not having a proper farm transition plan in place.
Our dad had a poorly executed, unworkable Will and a non-existent farm succession plan. This led to family discord. Despite receiving the majority of the assets, the brother who inherited the farm suffered financial distress and became insolvent. A proper transition plan would have helped him get the financial and farm management training he needed.
Today, I work as a Senior Wealth Advisor with Assante Capital Management Ltd., a leading Canadian wealth management firm with extensive experience in family farm transitions. As a member of the Assante Ag Group, I provide wealth advisory services to farm families. This includes helping them grow and protect their farm assets while preserving their family wealth and legacy.
It is very clear to me that whether you have a transition plan in place or not, one day you will transfer your farm to your children, extended family or sell to a third party. The question is, will it be on your terms (voluntarily), or someone else’s (involuntarily)?
Without a documented plan in place, you can be more susceptible to an involuntary sale or transfer of your farm. A formal transition plan puts you in charge of a voluntary transition, giving you greater choice about how and when you begin this important process.
My services are most suited for family enterprises that can benefit from our integrated family wealth management services and have a minimum of $1,000,000 in investable assets, or at least $250,000 in investible assets and a net worth of $5,000,000 including farm or business assets.