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Farm Succession Training for Legal & Financial Professionals

Two-Day Training Schedule
Sessions
Fee
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Two-Day Training Schedule via Zoom

Please plan to join us for both days. Presented by a diversity of professionals already working in the field, this virtual training is creatively formatted to keep the momentum going. In addition, small group case and problem-solving clinics will allow for peer-to-peer learning and network building for legal, business and financial service providers in New England. Abundant resource materials will enhance the learning experience. Since there will be concurring sessions offered, all sessions will be recorded and available to registrants.

Date Time  Topic
Tuesday,
September 21, 2021
9 – 9:50am Welcome & State Breakouts for introductions
10 – 11:20am Financial Viability as Part of Transfer Planning
11:30am – 12:30pm Special Issues in Non-Family Transfers of the Farm Business
11:30am – 12:30pm Creative Tools & Methods for Farm Transfer
12:30pm Lunch
1:30 – 3pm Estate Planning for Farmers
Thursday,
September 23, 2021
8:30 – 9am (optional) Ask an expert – drop in and ask questions, informal networking, BYO coffee
9 – 10:30am Structuring Lifetime Transfers of Farm Ownership Interest
9 – 10:30am Meeting the Client Where They’re At: Selecting the right legal structure to meet farmers’ needs in a farm transfer
10:45am – 12pm Tax Issues/ Opportunities with Farm Transfer Planning
12pm Lunch
1 – 2:30pm Putting it all together: Diving in with a Case Study
2:30 – 3pm Closing

Sessions

DAY 1

Financial Viability as Part of Transfer Planning
Farm financial viability is a critical component to a successful farm transfer. This session will give an overview of what is involved in looking at the financial viability of the farm business, how a professional might address inadequate financial viability with all involved, and ways the business could improve financial viability. Presenters will address financial needs of outgoing and incoming generations, and next steps families and advisors should follow in moving forward. This interactive session will illustrate concepts with farm financial statements. Presenters: Kelly McAdam, Agricultural Business Management Field Specialist, UNH Extension; Mark Cannella, Extension Associate Professor- Farm Business Specialist, UVM Extension; and Jon Jaffe, Farm Business Consultant, Farm Credit East.

Special Issues in Non-Family Transfers of the Farm Business (concurrent session)
Using the five hurdles in farm transition we will compare and contrast the differences between transferring the farm business to a non-family member compared to the more traditional transfer of the farm business to a family member. We will look at the “soft issues” like family dynamics, along with the “hard issues” like increased due diligence and expanded legal documentation. We will also briefly discuss recruiting a successor and closing the deal. There will be several “stories” used and will have time at the end for questions. Presenter: Jon Jaffe, Farm Business Consultant, Farm Credit East.

Creative Tools and Methods for Farm Transfer (concurrent session)
This workshop will explore the legal and financial aspects of several creative tools and methods to achieve farm transfer goals. These tools are: agricultural/conservation easements, including option to purchase at agricultural value; “group” transferees; lease-to-own; life estate; and transfers as reparations. Presenters: Ailla Wasstrom-Evans, Associate Attorney, The Prue Law Group, P.C.; Vanessa Johnson-Hall, Assistant Director of Land Conservation, Essex County Greenbelt Association, Inc. ; and Kathy Ruhf, Senior Advisor, Land For Good.

Estate Planning for Farmers
To a large extent, farm owners face the same estate planning issues as many non-farmers: how to avoid probate, how to avoid paying estate or gift taxes, how children’s or other beneficiaries’ inheritance should be managed. However, there are some estate planning issue faced specifically by famers that should be addressed in their estate plan. This seminar will cover the important estate planning basics that every advisor should know so that they can better spot these issues when advising their clients. Presenters: Paul Dillon, Attorney, Paul Dillon Attorney At Law; William Dakin, Attorney/ CPA, Kahan Kerensky Capossela, LLP; and Allison Poirier, Attorney, Kahan Kerensky Capossela, LLP.

DAY 2

Structuring Lifetime Transfers of Farm Ownership Interest (concurrent session)
There are numerous ways to structure the transfer of farm interests during a farm owner’s lifetime. Before recommending any transfer plans to your clients, be sure you are aware of all available options as well as the implications of each. Presenters: William Dakin, Attorney/ CPA, Kahan Kerensky Capossela, LLP; and Allison Poirier, Attorney, Kahan Kerensky Capossela, LLP.

Meeting the Client Where They’re At: Selecting the right legal structure to meet farmers’ needs in a farm transfer (concurrent session)
There are many ways to set up a farm transfer depending on the needs of the farm owner and acquirer. In this session we will look at several scenarios lawyers commonly encounter during farm succession, such as interfamily transfers and separate transfers of the farm business assets and the farm land. Seasoned transactional and estate lawyers will discuss legal structure options and their advantages and potential pitfalls. Presenters: Mary Rose Scozzafava, Senior Fellow, Conservation Law Foundation; Richard Cavanaugh, Attorney, Common Grow, LLC; and Erin Sherman, Attorney, Bergen & Parkinson, LLC.

Tax Issues/Opportunities with Farm Transfer Planning
There are four ways to transfer your farm business to the next generation. They are: 1)Give it, 2) Sell it, 3) Leave it and 4) Earn it. Most transfer plans are a combination of these options. Depending upon which option you choose there may be income tax or estate tax implications associated with your choice. A special focus will be included on Profits Interest transfers which can work well in certain situations. Presenters: Nicholas Bullock, EA, Senior Farm Tax Specialist, Yankee Farm Credit, ACA; and Jon Jaffe, Farm Business Consultant, Farm Credit East.

Putting it all together: Diving in with a Case Study
This workshop aims to bring together many topics covered during our two day training through a real world case study based on a New England farm transfer. As part of this interactive workshop, attendees will read and discuss an anonymized version of a LLC Operating Agreement that was developed for a long-term farm transfer involving both family and non-family farm successors. We will look at how this Agreement was set up to address the 5 D’s (Death, Divorce, Disaster, Disability, and Disagreement), incorporates “sweat equity” in the equity transfer, vesting, and buy-sell agreements. We will discuss how this agreement and the business transfer in general interacts with the requirements of the farm’s lender, the business plan and profitability of the farm as well as the estate plans for both generations. We will also discuss the issues that the LLC agreement does not address. Participants will be encouraged to bring their own ideas to the table of alternative approaches and language. Presenter: Mike Ghia, Vermont Field Agent, Land For Good.

Fee

Full price of this multi-session training helps cover costs of planning and delivery at $225. Cost should not be a barrier to attending. Half-price discounts and additional scholarships are available on the registration form.

Learn more

Any questions? Please contact Shemariah Blum-Evitts, Program Director, at shemariah@landforgood.org.

Additional resources


This training is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (subaward number ENE19-155: Improving Professional Capacity to Deliver Farm Succession Planning Assistance in New England)