Expert Advice
I smile knowingly as I read the farmer’s checklist, he wants to “avoid the mistakes farmers typically make” in succession planning. I don’t pretend to have the exhaustive list, but in eight years of coaching I have seen many scenarios that you don’t want to repeat.
I am extremely grateful for the three neighbours who showed up with three extra combines to harvest on the last sunny Saturday of September; it really made a huge difference in reducing the stress on our farm. When I relayed this story to an easterner, he said, “Wow, they still do that out there! Neighbours here are so competitive for land; that never happens anymore!”
Today I have encountered three acquaintances who are all dealing with different kinds of loss. A husband whose wife is suffering from a stroke. A woman whose nephew is suffering from a mental illness. Someone who has just buried her mother a few short weeks ago and is thankful that she got to celebrate her loved mum’s life with a funeral. She is also her mother had taken the time to write a will and have everything in order.
Succession planning requires good communication, but this doesn't mean ineffective meetings. The number one problem with meetings is the lack of structure. 
Jolene Brown was one of more than a dozen industry leaders who recently spoke at the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference (AWC), which took place on Oct. 30 and 31 at the Hilton Fallsview Hotel in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Good communication is a necessary requirement for farm families to follow through with a succession plan, but what worked a generation ago doesn’t cut it nowadays, according to Richard Cressman, a communication coach based in southeastern Ontario.
Whether you’re at the beginning of the succession planning process, in the midst of transitioning or are about to complete the process, there are different elements to keep in mind.
There’s much more to succession planning than paving the way to financial security, as Lance Stockbrugger, chartered accountant and farmer, knows from working with farming clients over the years.
Many farm families view succession planning as an event rather than a process and that, according to Darrell Wade, founder of Farm Life Financial Planning Group and a certified member of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors, can be a big mistake.

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