Workshop for farm businesses designed to aid in evaluating transition, estate plans

FORT?DODGE?- Farmers are unique particularly as there isn’t a distinct moment when they just walk out the workplace door to retirement as someone in a regular wage-earning job might do. Rather, farm families often need to think about how to transition the farm business to the next generation during lifetime, as well as having an estate plan in place.

“Talking about transitions and estate planning is difficult for most people and especially for farm families,” said Melissa O’Rourke, the Iowa State University farm and agribusiness management specialist in northwest Iowa. “And actual implementation of a transition plan can be even harder.”

That’s why Iowa State University Extension offers an “Evaluating Your Estate Plan” workshop to answer transition and estate planning questions and help families prepare for the future. The one-day workshop will be held on June 24 at the Webster County Fairgrounds, East Auditorium, Fort Dodge.

“Families and individuals should plan adequately to protect assets that they have built over a lifetime of hard work” according to O’Rourke, one of the speakers at the event. O’Rourke is an attorney experienced in agricultural law and estate planning.

Kelvin Leibold, also an ISU Extension Farm and agribusiness management specialist will be the other featured speaker at the workshop. Leibold joined ISU Extension in 1987 and has vast experience in working with agricultural clients in farm and business planning.

According to Leibold, “There are options particularly suited for consideration by farm families, different ways to transition farm management and assets. This program helps farm families plan for the future.” The workshop will discuss the language of estate planning, gift, estate & inheritance taxes, calculating retirement costs, and many other areas vital to creating a good estate plan.

“We’re really excited about this workshop because it doesn’t just stop at providing valuable information for anyone concerned about estate and transition plans,” said O’Rourke. “Everyone will participate in a hands-on analysis and discussion of case studies that will help folks apply the information to their own situations.”

Anyone who is unsure of how to build a transition plan or what options are best for their farm operation and family should attend this workshop.

The workshop will be held at the Webster County Fairgrounds, East Auditorium, on June 24, with registration starting at 9 a.m.and adjournment at 4 p.m. Advance registration is required and space is limited. The Evaluating Your Estate Plan workshop costs $50 per person and includes lunch and materials. To register call the Webster County Extension Office at (515) 576-2119.