Leading rural insurer, NFU Mutual is staging ‘Succession Sunday’ on May 29 to encourage members of farming families to get together round a table and start talking about the long-term future of their farms.
“Many farmers know they need to talk to family members about succession, but find it difficult to pick the right time,” said Sean McCann, Chartered Financial Planner at NFU Mutual.
“A succession plan can play a big part in securing the future of the family farm. There’s a risk that putting off planning for another day means that it can be left until it’s too late for families to put in place arrangements to maximise tax concessions such as Agricultural Property and Business Property Relief potentially putting their farm at risk.
“That’s why we are suggesting members of farming families get together on what we are calling ‘Succession Sunday’ to listen to each family member’s ideas for the business.
“Often meeting away from the farm with an independent intermediary on hand can reduce the tensions in what can be a very emotive subject. They can make sure that everyone has their say, and that the more difficult to talk about subjects get discussed.
“Involving your financial adviser and solicitor at an early stage means they can work together to help you identify options as well as potential pitfalls to avoid.”
To help families start talking about succession and then move on to bringing in financial and legal experts to help family members’ visions become reality, NFU Mutual is providing information on its website, nfumutual.co.uk, and will be using Twitter to help focus farmers’ minds on using Succession Sunday to break the ice on conversations about the future of the farm.
To help farmers start the difficult conversation and put effective succession plans in place, NFU Mutual has developed a Succession Planning Service, which is delivered by specially-trained members of its financial adviser network. NFU Mutual is also running a series of seminars across the UK during 2016. Details of local events are available from NFU Mutual local offices.
Farmers can follow the succession planning conversation on Twitter @nfum or visit nfumutual.co.uk/farming.