Succession Planning


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Design Your Succession Plan: The Curriculum

Design Your Succession Plan: a comprehensive succession planning education program for farm and ranch families

The easy-to-use Design Your Succession Plan (DYSP) curriculum and tools help educators and service providers move participants to begin the process of creating a succession plan for their family business. The program helps them make informed decisions about transitioning their business to the next generation and distributing their estate. The program defines the process, tools and terms used in succession, transition, estate and retirement planning.

DYSP contains 5 modules that include lesson objectives, leader guides, and handouts. The curriculum also includes instructor resources to help with planning, evaluations, participant workbooks (ordered separately), and marketing materials

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Program Objectives

Participants will:

  • Be able to define succession, transition, estate and retirement planning
  • Be able to define terms used in succession planning
  • Gain confidence in communicating with family about succession planning
  • Explore what they want to accomplish in a succession plan
  • Begin to prepare a succession plan for their business
  • Consider the viability of their business for succession
  • Be able to identify professional who may help them with their succession plan

The DYSP curriculum addresses the following:

Module 1: Starting Your Succession Plan
This module defines succession planning and highlights the importance of developing a plan and starting early. It includes tools for getting started and defines the language of succession planning.

Module 2: Determining What You Want
Participants are encouraged to identify what is important to them and what they want to accomplish with their succession plan. They also are encouraged to determine what is realistic or possible. Will they be passing along assets or a business?

Module 3: The Next Generation of Your Legacy
Participants look to the next generation who will follow them on the farm or ranch. Will the successors take over a business? Will they be leasing the land? Will they be buying the land? This module helps participants learn how to identify, select and mentor a successor who will acquire the skills needed to continue the farm/ranch business successfully.

Module 4: Family Meetings and Conversations
Good communication is key to a successful succession plan. Participants explore guidelines for planning and holding family meetings. They also will learn how to gather information to ensure they make the best decisions and how to discuss even the toughest issues in succession planning.

Module 5: Choosing and Working With Professionals
Participants explore how to identify, choose and work with needed professionals to develop and implement a farm/ranch succession plan.

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