Transition planning. I can already sense some of you cringing as you read that phrase. It’s such an important conversation centered around your farm, ranch, or ag supply chain business. Unfortunately, few farms have a formal transition plan today and instead rely on handshake agreements or a simple will to transition their land, assets, and business. And too often farms that have been in families for generations run into trouble.
That is why Nationwide started Land As Your Legacy, offering local support to protect your farm, family, and financial future. I talked to Lauren Glovac, the Relationship Manager with Land As Your Legacy, about how this free of charge (yes, really free!!) program is transforming how we look at farm transition planning.
Real-life Transition Experience
This topic hits close to home for Lauren.
Her family runs an apple orchard in northern Ohio; Imagine apple picking, pumpkin patches, and hayrides. All this fun started Lauren’s roots in agriculture. Her family has evolved their sixth-generation farm to now focus on ag-entertainment, including weddings and live music.
A Background in Agriculture
Her background in agriculture led her to Land As Your Legacy. Just like Lauren, Nationwide is heavily agriculture-influenced. Nationwide was founded through the Ohio Farm Bureau back in 1926. Fast-forward to today, and Nationwide is now the #1 farm insurer in the country with a majority of the Board of Directors directly tied to agriculture. Because if anyone knows decisions in risk management, it’s farmers.
The Land As Your Legacy program is around ten years old.
Before its inception, a Board Member at Nationwide was put into a tough transition situation and posed the question, “Is there something we can do to help other people like me?”. Now, there is an eight-person team completely dedicated to working on Land As Your Legacy.
5 Steps for Smooth Transition
The program is comprehensive and works to fit the exact needs of each member. Land As Your Legacy breaks it down into five steps.
- Succession planning: This is the initial conversation about transferring the business to the next generation.
- Business planning: A review of the business’s profitability and its business structure to look for opportunities to improve its success.
- Risk Management: From insurance to accidents, the program covers all the bases of potential risk.
- Financial Independence: Simply put, retirement. (And we all know this is a touchy subject in agriculture.) How can someone who steps away from the farm still have their financial needs met? Generate income separate from the farm so your needs don’t become a burden on the next generation. Your plan will show you how.
- Estate Planning. Now that you have gone through the first four steps you are prepared to actually do the last step and get the documents you need in place. You’ll get help planning for how the farm’s assets get passed on and a plan to help pay any taxes or estate liabilities.
Other perks of the program: it’s free, you don’t have to be insured by Nationwide, and there are representatives ready to help across the country.
Lauren is blessed to be in a position where she helps others every day. Her “why” is seeing families stay together and continuing their legacy.
The Time To Transition Is Now
She encourages everyone to start thinking about this conversation. The best time to get started with transition planning is now. No matter your age, no matter the size of the farm, start now. You never know what could happen in the future, and you never know what you’re missing until you reach out. Connect with a local financial professional today on their website.