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Succession planning: Creating a lasting legacy for your business and family

Succession planning: Creating a lasting legacy for your business and family
Developing a succession plan that meets the expectations of all involved is not easy. However, a recent webinar saw leading expert on the subject, Isobel Knight, guide woolgrowers through the important issues to consider. Don’t worry if you missed the webinar, it was recorded and is available free to view for all woolgrowers across the country.

Succession planning involves the transfer of ownership and control of farming assets to the next generation charged with the responsibility of continuing the business.

It can be a complex issue for farm businesses, with often four generations actively involved. Understanding the different motivations, characteristics and needs of these groups is essential for constructive planning to occur.

It is important to communicate openly with other family members and professionals.

A webinar hosted in October by AWI’s Sheep Connect Tasmania network provides a useful starting point for families. The webinar was recorded and is available to view on-demand for free.

The 1¾ hour information-packed webinar is delivered by Isobel Knight, the owner and a director of family farm succession planning business ProAGtive. Isobel has worked closely with hundreds of individual farming families across Australia.

The webinar is highly recommended and provides viewers with tools and strategies to address the following areas of their business:

  • What is succession planning, and why is it so complex?
  • What are the business and personal goals of each family member?
  • What is the purpose of your business?
  • Is your business in a financial position to meets the business and personal goals?
  • Understanding your family dynamics and the intergenerational differences
  • The importance of a formal communication strategy
  • The importance of discussing and planning for retirement
  • Formalising roles and responsibilities, and reward and pay system
  • Why we need documented business policies
  • Understanding your business structure; legal and tax implications
  • Understanding the role of business advisors in the succession process.


Another good source of information for people looking to broach the subject with family members is the Guide to Succession, produced in 2007 by GRDC with the support of AWI and other major agricultural organisations.

The publication is divided into three sections. The first section provides guiding principles from professionals who may contribute to the succession planning process: an agronomist, an accountant, a lawyer, a financial planner and a generation consultant. The 16 case studies in the second section are drawn from the actual experiences of farm families. The final section provides tips and checklists to help in the initiation, development and implementation of a plan.

More information: Download the publication from

More information: View the webinar via A free six-page information pack from ProAgtive is available from


This article appeared in the December 2020 edition of AWI’s Beyond the Bale magazine. Reproduction of the article is encouraged, however prior permission must be obtained from the Editor.

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