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SDSU Estate planning and farm transition conferences to begin

BROOKINGS — The SDSU Extension staff offers unique workshops to answer questions involved with estate planning and aid in planning for farm transitions.

The Sustaining the Legacy-Estate Planning and Farm Transitions Conferences, developed for all parties involved in a farm or ranch operation, will be held in several locations throughout South Dakota beginning on Wednesday.

"These workshops will provide attendees with information on how to pass their operation on to the next generation, to develop a fair estate plan for all heirs, reduce family friction due to the transition of assets, develop a plan that maintains privacy and develop a plan that fulfills their goals for the operation," said Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension livestock business management field specialist.

Why a transition

plan is necessary:

As the average age of South Dakota producers continues to climb; the value of the estate climbs as well, creating situations where the next generation to the operation could not afford to buy it outright without some type of business plan, purchase plan and/or estate plan, explains Gessner.

"Producers have invested years in their operation. I know three days is a lot to be away, but think of it as an investment in the future of your operation — just like the time you invest selecting your next herd sire or seed variety," she said.

The conference provides farmers and ranchers with three days full of information on creating their plan, no matter how big, or small, the operation.

The conference will also cover the following topics: business structures, goals, asset distribution, wills and probate, retirement planning and funding, fair versus equal distribution, taxes, life insurance, long term care insurance and trusts.

All members involved in the operation are encouraged to attend together.

Area meetings include:

Jan. 7, 14 and 21 at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Mitchell, 1800 E. Spruce St.

Jan. 9, 16 and 23 at the SDSU Extension Regional Center in Winner, 325 S. Monroe St.

More reasons to attend:

• Preservation of assets in case long-term care facilities are needed for any of the family members involved in the operation.

• Many producers do not have heirs coming back to the operation. In these cases the disposal of the assets needs to occur in a manner that provides income and stability throughout retirement.

• Large operations have tax concerns that must be addresses to help preserve the operation.

• Confusion and uncertainty about the tools available and where to go for assistance putting the plan together is high.

For registration brochures visit the igrow.org event tab and find the location nearest you. For additional information, times or to register, contact Gessner at (605) 782-3290, or at heather.gessner2001 E. 8th Street, Sioux Falls, S.D., 57103.

— Source: SDSU Extension

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