Why establish an estate/business succession plan?

Despite the fundamental importance of succession planning, it is often neglected in current business/farming management practice.

Business owners/farmers should recognise that the need for a fully discussed succession plan is paramount in any business/farming situation. A natural progression from one generation to the next (or in case of unexpected or premature death) through the deceased’s Will. Poor succession planning is the cause of much “hurt in business/rural Australia.”

Every year it is estimated that more Australian farmers leave the family farm as a result of poor succession planning than for any other reason.

The ’10 deadly sins’ associated with estate and business succession planning:

  1. Procrastination
  2. Wishful thinking
  3. Saving money by not getting business advice
  4. Trying to beat Income Tax
  5. Confuse equality with fairness
  6. Consensus management
  7. Not sharing philosophies
  8. Failing to teach & test
  9. Plan not up to date
  10. No outside review

What do family members generally want from an estate/business succession plan?

1. The Parent

  • Security of Assets
  • Security of Income
  • Provide children on the farm/in the business with an opportunity to progress
  • Treat all children fairly
  • Minimise-Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Stamp Duty and Legal Costs
  • Receive the Age Pension in due course (if possible)

2. The Children on the Farm/in the Business

  • A clear sense of direction
  • Involvement in Financial Management
  • Incentive to increase Farm/Business Productivity/Profitability
  • Assurance of eventual Ownership
  • Financial Security
  • Minimise Stamp Duty and Capital Gains Tax
  • Minimise Income Tax and Legal Costs
  • A known time-frame

3. Other Children (not involved in Farm/Business)

  • To be treated fairly
  • A known time-frame


How do we implement your estate/business succession plan? 

Our professional team will sit down with clients and their family to tailor design plans. This consultation process will thoroughly review your aims and aspirations, explore the options available to you and deliver a working plan for you and your family to follow.

This plan will be regularly reviewed in consultation with you.


The importance of ‘doing it properly’ and exploring all options.

By using a stepped procedural approach you can ensure that absolutely all of the major issues and options available to you are fully considered. This results in the establishment of the best possible plan for you and your family.


Some of the more important issues that need to be considered are:

  • Establish your Aims
  • Fairness to All
  • Business Structures (Partnerships vs. Trusts etc)
  • Tax Minimisation
  • Use of Testamentary Trusts
  • Security of “The Assets” (i.e. against family breakdown)
  • Pensions and Social Security Benefits
  • Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Stamp Duty
  • Non-Business/Farm Assets (superannuation etc.)
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