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Our family needs to make some plans for our estate. Any tips for how to keep the process "friendly"?

There are a number of ways to create successful, amicable family estate plans. Begin with planning early. Write a shared family vision such as "we want our family farm to be harmonious, enjoyable, and profitable," and include shared goals. Seek the assistance of competent estate planners, attorneys, accountants, or Extension Specialists.

Maintain open communication and effective problem solving, especially with perceived issues of inequity. Listen so well that you can repeat back to the speaker what he says and feels. Avoid yelling and screaming. Acknowledge feelings about the transfer process. Build self esteem and respect for others. Reduce the older generations and increase the younger generations involvement in heavy labor, management, and land.

With the proper mix, many farm families will be among those who survive well into the 21st century.


Resource: Fetsch, R. (1999, June). Some do's and don'ts for successful farm and ranch family estate transfers. Journal of Extension, 37, 6.




Written by:
Sandra McKinnon, Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension

Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension










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Last update: Saturday, July 26, 2008




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