SDSU Extension helps with estate and farm transition planning through workshops

SDSU Extension
Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — SDSU Extension staff offers unique workshops to answer questions involved with estate planning and aid in planning for farm transitions. The Sustaining the Legacy-Estate Planning and Farm Transitions Conferences, developed for all parties involved in the farm or ranch operation will be held in Milbank, beginning March 6, 2019.

“These workshops will provide attendees with information on how to pass their operation on to the next generation, to develop a fair estate plan for all heirs; reduce family friction due to the transition of assets; develop a plan that maintains privacy; and develop a plan that fulfills their goals for the operation,” explained Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension livestock business management field specialist.

Why a transition plan is necessary

As the average age of South Dakota producers continues to climb; the value of the estate climbs as well. Gessner said this can result in situations where the next generation planning to take over the operation are unable to afford to buy it outright without some type of business structure, purchase plan, and/or estate plan.

“Producers have invested years in their operation. I know three days sounds like a lot of time to invest in a workshop, but think of it as an investment in the future of your operation, just like the time you invest selecting your next herd sire or seed variety,” Gessner said.

Sustaining the legacy-estate planning and farm transitions conferences

The conference provides farmers and ranchers with three days full of information on creating their plan no matter how big or small the operation. Presentations are given by industry experts and SDSU Extension staff. The conference will cover the following topics: business structures, goals, asset distribution, wills and probate, retirement planning and funding, fair versus equal distribution, taxes, life insurance, long term care insurance and trusts.

All members involved in the operation encouraged to attend together.

More reasons to attend:

  • Preservation of assets in case long-term care facilities are needed for any of the family members involved in the operation.
  • Many producers do not have heirs coming back to the operation. In these cases the disposal of the assets needs to occur in a manner that provides income and stability throughout retirement.
  • Large operations have tax concerns that must be addresses to help preserve the operation.
  • Confusion and uncertainty about the tools available and where to go for assistance putting the plan together is high.
Millbank Session dates and location

Sessions will begin at 10 a.m., March 6, 13 and 20, 2019, at the Grant County Community Room in the Courthouse basement (210 East 5th Avenue). Lunch and breaks are included each day.

To register, visit and search by the first date of the event. For additional information, contact Gessner at 605-782-3290,