An open conversation while planning a will is key to avoiding problems and fighting between beneficiaries.  |  Getty Images

Weigh options when writing a will

Any person can be named as a beneficiary but there are obligations to spouses and financial dependents to consider

Planning a will is not something to take lightly, especially when deciding how to allocate assets. Many options must be weighed, like which child gets what and how assets and land should be divided, but for some testators who don’t have large families or children to give their assets to, what are some other options? […] Read more

People can save time, hardship and money by choosing their power of attorney before they are unable to make the decision.  |  Getty Images

Power of attorney provides peace of mind

People may reach a point in their life when they are unable to make important decisions. While this can be devastating, it is possible for people to choose who will make those decisions on their behalf before that time comes. Appointing a power of attorney ensures that someone trusted and knowledgeable is making decisions about […] Read more

A Saskatchewan lawyer says probate fees and land transfers are comparable in price, but there are still issues that farmers need to keep an eye on.  |  File photo

Probate not something to avoid at all costs

However, a tax lawyer says avoiding probate fees by transferring titles away from the testator before they die is not hard

As the old saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. But professional help and planning ahead can go a long way in dealing with taxes that must be paid following a death. For Nikki Rudachyk, partner at McKercher LLP in Saskatoon and a member of the Canadian Association of Farm […] Read more

Understanding family property law is key to succession

Farm succession planning is complex. The transition of the family farm to the next generation raises several questions, including how you ensure the farm remains in the family. The legacy within a family farm may span several generations. But what happens if along the way a separation or divorce occurs and the family farm is […] Read more

The future is a vital component of farm succession planning

I read some statistics on farm succession planning the other day. It caused me to think about a conference on succession planning I attended in 1999. People and presenters quoted statistics about the average age of the Canadian farmer being about 57, if I remember correctly — something close to that anyway. There was also […] Read more

Clear communication eases farm transition

Many farm families deal with difficult issues by not dealing with them, which means avoiding them until somebody dies

Farm succession plans are sometimes never written because farmers are coping with false ideas and deep emotions. But those factors can be handled with open communication and the right advisers, says farm family dynamics expert Elaine Froese. “We’re not just dealing with numbers and balance sheets,” said the Boissevain, Man., farmer, who has long coached […] Read more

Bob Tosh of MNP’s Farm Management Consulting Group says formalizing a process for farm transition will help families deal with the “fair versus equal” dilemma.  |  File photo

Farm transition needs tough conversations

A farm management specialist says succession planning must be emotional but it also requires a formal process

Satisfying all the members of the family tree during a farm transition will take an emotional investment by the farm owners, but it will also take discerning decision-making that requires formal planning, says Bob Tosh. “You’re not going to go through any kind of intergenerational transition without actually getting emotional about it. And if you […] Read more

Stacey Wiebe, left, and Dale Maier are taking over the farm from Hélène Tremblay-Boyko and Al Boyko.  |  Supplied photo

Unique farm succession plan moves forward

A Saskatchewan couple hand-picks their successors, ensuring the operation is farmed the way they would prefer

While all succession plans are unique, one playing out on the farm of Al Boyko and Hélène Tremblay-Boyko near Canora, Sask., could be described as more than a little outside the box. Readers met the couple in The Western Producer two years ago. At that time they were looking for a young couple who would […] Read more

The sooner your succession conversations happen, the better. Farm families should start writing down what the deal looks like to ensure everyone is clear on the terms.  |  Getty illustration

Succession planning crucial for financial sustainability

Tough decisions and conversations will need to be made, say experts, but it will ensure a smoother transition

Families that are beginning the process of transitioning the farm should follow a number of general rules for it to be financially sustainable, say tax specialists. The key to any succession plan, no matter what stage it’s in, is communication between family members, said Riley Honess, a senior manager in tax with KPMG in Lethbridge. […] Read more

A farm asset transfer crisis is looming on the Prairies

According to Agriculture Canada the total value of farmland and buildings in Canada amounted to $427.9 billion in 2016. In the same year, the total value of farm machinery and equipment owned and leased by farm operators added another $53.9 billion to the asset base. The fastest-growing age group in the farm population was operators […] Read more