Farm succession planning can be an immense undertaking. You are setting the stage for the future of your land, farm business, and family. So, where do you begin? From conservation easements, family trusts, and LLCs to capital gains, and estate and gift taxes, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by the complexities of farm transfer options. But, did you know that having the right business structure can make farm succession much more smooth? Check out our free Farm Succession Planning Basics for more information. In the video A Century-Old Farm Prepares for Changing Seasons, you’ll hear from farmer Adrienne Ploss of Hickory Hurst Farm in New York about the role of business structures played in succession planning for three generations of her family’s 100-year-old farm.

Perhaps even more important that then the question of what business structure to use is the question of how to write the governance document. The governance document is highly valuable for a successful farm succession because it lays out realms of authority, how high-level decisions (such as sale of assets) are made and by whom, and the process for tracking the financial progress of ownership transfer. Learn more about the role of a governance document, browse models, and view a checklist of decisions that need making in the process in our Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures. So many important issues are laid out in a good governance document!

Writing one doesn’t have to be hard. Use our Farmers’ Workbook for Creating a Governance Document when you’re ready to write a governance document of your own.