Summer Series: Estate and Succession Planning - Catholic Rural Life

Summer Series: Estate and Succession Planning

Join us for a Summer Q & A series provided exclusively for members of Catholic Rural Life. We will offer a different topic in June, July and August – addressing the most common questions business owners and families have about designing an efficient and effective estate and succession plan.

Facilitated by Kevin Spafford, CRL member and one of the ag industry’s foremost experts on the subject of succession planning, this series will address many of your concerns and offer you an opportunity to submit any questions.

Each 30-minute session will be succinct and packed with information. Kevin will provide you with his experiences regarding some of planning’s most pressing issues, followed by time to share or submit your thoughts, concerns, and questions. For those questions that may be beyond the scope of a given session, Kevin is willing to talk with you individually at your request.

Please email Peg Louiselle at to RSVP or if you have any questions. The Zoom meeting information will be sent out the week of the session.

JUNE 24, 10:00am CDT:  Estate Planning                                  

  • What is a trust, do I need a power of attorney, and why do I need a will if I have a trust?
  • Since the new administration in DC has promised to change the estate tax laws, shouldn’t I wait to plan until I know what the new law is?
  • What is included in my estate, how is my estate valued?
  • What are the planning secrets, families use to avoid the estate tax and grow legacy estates for their families? 

Following the estate planning session, we’ll provide access to the following online, printable resources:

  • Estate Planning for Business Owners – eBook
  • Estate Planning Recommendations – Worksheet
  • Equalizing Transfers to Children – eBook
  • Action Plan – Sample Worksheet

JULY 22, 10:00am CDT: Ownership Transition & Leadership Structure 

  • How do I protect my children who are active in the operation while leaving an equal amount in my estate to my children who are not active in the operation?
  • How do I NOT become business partners with my brother’s [or business partner’s] spouse? Or better yet, how do I prevent them from inheriting my brother’s [or business partner’s] interest in the business? 
  • Can I protect the farming operation/business from a divorce in the family, bad credit issues, and frivolous lawsuits? If so, how do I do it? 
  • Should my farm/business be in an LLC, Corporation, S-Corp, or?

Following the Leadership Structure session, we’ll provide access to the following online, printable resources:

  • Transferring Ownership in a Partnership or LLC to Family Members – eBook
  • Comparison of Transfer Options – Worksheet
  • Funding the Transfer – eBook
  • Estate Flow Chart – Sample Worksheet

AUGUST 26, 10:00am CDT: Financial Security               

  • We don’t have a retirement plan; if all our money is tied up in the farm/family business, how do we plan for retirement?
  • Since I’m in a partnership with my sibling[s]/business partner[s], don’t we have to sell the operation if one of us wants to retire? What if I can’t afford to buy him/her out? 
  • How do I make sure my family/spouse is financially secure if something happens to me?
  • What are the tax advantages to supporting worthy & charitable causes in our estate plan?

Following the Financial Security session, we’ll provide access to the following online, printable resources:

  • A Systematic Approach to Business Succession Planning – eBook
  • List of Planning Concerns – Worksheet
  • Understanding the Overlap Between the Family and the Business – eBook 

Notes for participants:

  • Sessions will be recorded to be made available following our meetings.
  • During the session all participants will be muted.
  • Before pressing record, all participants will be hidden, so they won’t be on camera.
  • Participants may unmute selves for questions or use the chat feature.  
  • If a question is too involved, too personal, or beyond the scope of this session, Kevin will opt to address the question off-line. 
  • If we get disconnected or have connectivity issues, Kevin will reschedule the session.
  • If you do have a burning question or something you want to make sure is covered please send it in advance, so Kevin can make sure it’s covered during one of our 3 sessions.

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