A law firm for life

Farm Succession Planning

Many of our clients own and operate family farm businesses.  These businesses are inter-generational and may have been handed down from one family member to another over decades.

At The McKinstry Company, we understand the particular dynamics at play in these farming businesses.  As experts in agricultural law, we also understand the importance of risk management and planning for the future.

Our team have vast experience in working with the farming community across Ayrshire.  Get in touch with us today to discuss your circumstances. We are here to help you.

What Is Farm Succession Planning?

In short, succession planning is as simple as planning for the future.  The day to day operations management of a farming business can mean that it is hard to step back and consider what would happen if you or another member of your family wanted to retire or was no longer able to continue working in the business.   However, it is of critical importance that you do this at an early stage to avoid stressful situations in the future. The key to remember is that the future starts tomorrow.

How Can I Plan for The Future of My Business?

Firstly, it is important to begin this conversation with a solicitor who can flag key risks for your business model that need to be managed.  They can review your current business and explain what key steps you should be taking to manage future transition.

If you are operating a farming partnership, one key part of succession planning will be ensuring you have a partnership agreement in place. It is important to have a partnership agreement in place because, if you do not, the terms of The Partnership Act 1890 will apply by default.  This Act provides that the death of any partner will dissolve a partnership.  This is usually considered inappropriate in most partnerships and therefore, a partnership agreement can include more suitable provisions.

Another simple step which can be taken as part of succession planning is drawing up a personal Will.  In your Will, you can set out how your estate should be managed upon death – including what happens with your business interests.  For example, you may wish to leave a certain share to a particular family member or make provision for management on death.  Any Will must be read alongside any partnership agreement which is in place.  It is, therefore, a good idea to ask a solicitor to support you in drafting these documents in parallel.

Finally, you should consider whether, upon your retirement, it may be appropriate to sell your farming business.  Selling a farm is, in some ways, like selling any business.  However, there are some special considerations to a farming business which make the sales process particularly complex.  It will be necessary to consider not only how best to market and prepare the business for sale, but also how employees will be transferred and what tax liabilities will arise.  While this may seem overwhelming, our expert team have in-depth knowledge in this area and can assist you in planning for any future sale.

Contact The McKinstry Company Farm Succession Planning Lawyers, Ayrshire

At The McKinstry Company, we put our clients at the heart of our work.

Our goal is to generate and maintain strong and lasting client relationships rather than a transactional approach to the work which we undertake.  We are a law firm for life.

If you want to learn more about farm succession planning, get in touch today.  You can contact us on 01292 281711 or complete our online enquiry form.  Our friendly and dedicated team are here to help you.

Debbie Dunlop Partner View Debbie's Profile

Based in our Girvan office, Debbie is a Partner who is highly experienced in Private Client work, particularly in the agricultural and farming sectors. She used to enjoy travelling the world, but now married to a farmer, she spends her weekends in wellies, feeding cattle or on the back of a quad bike. Debbie is also a member of the Agricultural Law Association.

Having lived in Rome for a number of years, Debbie also studied Law at the Université d’Auvergne in Clermont-Ferrand – as a result, she is fluent in both Italian and French. She can also speak a bit of Spanish, thanks to travelling around various Central and South American countries, including walking the Inca trail. She has managed to convince her husband that the cattle in Argentina will be worth a look at some time soon!

A keen runner, Debbie has competed in 10Ks and half marathons, even completing the Rome Marathon. This now comes in handy during lambing time chasing after ewes.

Ayr Sandgate

Queen’s Court House
39 Sandgate
Ayr, Ayrshire
KA7 1BE

  • Disability access
  • Parking close by

Girvan

146-148 Dalrymple Street
Girvan, Ayrshire
KA26 9BQ

  • Disability access
  • Parking close by
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Some of our happy clients
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    Mrs D, Troon
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We are open from 1st July by appointment. We will be restricted to executry and matrimonial clients. Social distancing measures will be in place.