Five Steps for Succession Success is a collaboration between Kelly Kelly Legal and Financial Services SA”
by Kelly Morgan

“My husband loves working in the family business and while the farm generates a good income each year, I’m worried about our future – we have three children and no assets in our name. I know my father-in-law has a plan, but nothing has been openly discussed or formalised. This keeps me awake at night.“  

Many family farming enterprises are actually multi-million-dollar businesses. As such, they require implementation of formal strategies to manage the profitable succession of the business; the retirement needs for the older generation; and asset distribution for the next generation. Outlining your family legacy needs and long-term plans for your business may be easier than you think. Find out about three key steps for successful succession planning.

Succession planning is so much more than considering your family legacy through a Will. You lose blood, sweat and tears running your business and a succession plan is an essential business strategy to protect its future. So what do you need to do?

  1. Start now – before it’s too late

“I can’t believe the mess Dad’s left us in – he didn’t have an up-to-date Will and never discussed the future of the farm with us.”

It is important to have a plan in place before a crisis or a change to the family or business occurs. There are many triggers which can have serious implications for family members or business outcomes if not planned for. These may include marriage, children, divorce or family conflict, drought, high levels of debt, family members with special needs, retirement, aged care needs, illness or death.

  1. How to start – contact us for an obligation free appointment

“I want to let go of the farm but I’m worried about my non-farming daughters.”

While a Will is a good place to start, there will be other issues which need to be considered as part of comprehensive succession planning, which you will need professional help to properly manage. Our solicitors know the right questions to ask to get you thinking about the future and will help to outline the process and establish any necessary documentation. We have decades of experience assisting a vast range of family dynamics.

  1. Who can start the process?

“I’m watching my best friend fight with her in-laws over the family farm and I don’t want to be in the same situation.”

Everyone in a family business will have different expectations and the good news is that anyone can start the business succession process. Whether you are the son, father, daughter-in-law, non-farming sibling or a grandparent, we can help you take the first step. It’s important to remember that it’s never too early to do so.  Our aim is to preserve relationships and keep families “intact”.

Succession planning considers not only your personal wishes, usually outlined in your Will, but also the needs of other stakeholders. These may include remuneration for children involved in the family business; inheritances for non-farming children; and planning for the future and ongoing management of the farming business.

The team at Kelly Kelly Legal have years of experience working closely with clients and businesses to generate succession plans that incorporate business transition arrangements, Wills and estate planning as well as superannuation planning.

Contact the team on 08 8664 1162 or email to discuss your succession planning requirements and arrange an obligation free appointment.

Read more about Step 1: Setting Expectations – Great expectations by Phillip “ Dibbo”  Dibben (Financial Services SA)

Working in collaboration for a number of years, Financial Services SA and Kelly Kelly Legal offer insight and expertise in rural and family farming business succession planning. Accustomed to opening up meaningful discussions, we cut through technical-talk in favour of straight-talk, to offer integrated solutions that consider the often-complex nature of succession plans to incorporate business transition arrangements, wills and estate planning and retirement and superannuation planning.

Financial Services SA is a multi-discipline professional services practice offering farm and business consulting, financial planning, specialist rural finance and mortgage broking. Financial Services SA has a particular interest in developing and implementing practical and achievable succession plans and integrated solutions to consider all aspects of personal, business and farming lives.

The content in this publication and on our website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. We attempt to ensure that the content is current but we do not guarantee its currency.

You should seek legal or other professional advice before relying on other content. Your use of this website or the receipt of this information does not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and Kelly Kelly Legal.