Farm succession a troublesome topic

By Clark Stork
November 4, 2017 - 1:26pm

Talking about for your farm and its future is a crucial aspect to ensure a legacy for your family.

This was the message from Melfort based Credential Financial Strategies planner Kim Stratulat who spoke to approximately 75 Kelvington area residents this week about how families struggle to discuss succession.

“Apprehension again, everyone is going, 'what will my children feel like? Will this one not be happy with the outcome of it?' That’s something you want to deal with sooner than later, get a clear path in place that works for both parents and children,” Stratulat said.

The Rural Municipalities of Sasman and Kelvington, with the town’s development department, partnered to host the luncheon targeted at farm operators.

A topic that drew impromptu questions from the floor surrounded income sprinkling or the ability to spread income among non-active family members or shareholders thanks to the spotlight on proposed federal tax changes.

“Some of them are scared to see what the ultimate tax bill will be, they never want to see that number,” Stratulat said. “Other ones just aren’t sure how to go forward between farming and non-farming children, how to do an equitable and fair transfer.”

Stratulat has grappled with his own complicated succession plans after an untimely death in his extended family.

“It can have deep-rooted implications if some of the family members don’t feel like they’ve been dealt with fair and equitably so it’s worthwhile doing it that early," he explained.

Potential tax changes at the end of the year “will” cost farm operators more, increasing the urgency behind family talks, he said, urging producers to “take a look at this now and make the decision to move forward and get serious about farm succession planning.”


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