Passing on the Ranch
RAPID CITY, S.D. — There are some 30,000 family farming operations in South Dakota, and the average age of the principal operator of those farms and ranches is near 60. In time, those farms and ranches could be passed on to children and relatives, or even outside the family. South Dakota State University Extension (SDSU Extension) hosted a Passing on the Ranch conference, providing advice on estate planning, farm ranch transitions, and sustaining legacy. Heather Gessner of SDSU Extension said,
“We’re really trying to blend that estate plan and that transition plan and put them all together. How do we couple those components and make that feasible transition so mom and dad get money to retire on, the new generation has funds to run the operation and grow it, expand it, maybe change it, if that’s what needs to happen, so that we can keep the land in the family name, if that’s the goal of the operation.”
There were breakout sessions which addressed ways to pass along ranch assets and businesses, as well as how to provide financial inheritance to non-ranching children in order to avoid large family disagreements. Speakers also stressed the importance of having a plan in place, especially in the wake of certain life events such as marriage, accumulation of wealth, and inheritance of wealth. Senior Vice President of Trust and Wealth Management from Dacotah Bank, Steven Schaffer, said
“Plan now, put something in place that you can live or maybe die with right now, and then you have all the time in the world to make changes as you see fit or as circumstances change within your family.”
Along with sound advice for the future, attendees could also sign up for further estate planning assistance.