New estate planning tool helps with Canadian farm transitions

Dec 13, 2023

FCC launches innovative will and estate pre-planning tool for Canadian farmers

By Denise Faguy

We know it is the holidays, and you don’t want to be talking about Estate Planning. But the holiday season should remind you of how much those you love mean to you, and that you want to ensure they are well cared for in the future.

Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has taken a significant step in aiding Canadian farm owners with the launch of a new Will and Estate Pre-Planning Tool. This innovation, adapted from Dr. Tom Deans' Willing Wisdom Index platform, is tailored to meet the unique needs of the agricultural sector, emphasizing the crucial yet often overlooked aspect of estate planning in farming families.

This tool is designed to provide producers with a starting point for contemplating the future of their operations. By answering a series of questions, farm owners receive personalized recommendations and a checklist, highlighting their estate planning strengths and identifying any gaps.

This immediate feedback is a game changer in the agricultural industry, where discussions about will, and estate planning are notoriously difficult to initiate.

Dr. Tom Deans, a renowned intergenerational wealth transfer expert, emphasizes the emotional bond farmers have with their land and business, making the transition process intensely personal and often challenging. The tool aims to break the ice, encouraging families to start these critical conversations.

The Will and Estate Pre-Planning Tool is not just a standalone resource but a complementary element to the FCC’s Advisory Services. It equips producers with vital insights and preparatory questions for their advisory meetings, simplifying the overwhelming task of estate planning.

Greg Thomarat of FCC highlights the tool’s role in facilitating early discussions, preventing potential misunderstandings and conflicts. The tool is free, anonymous, and confidential, offering actionable steps for immediate implementation. Producers can revisit the tool to track progress and update their plans.

The introduction of this tool is a step forward in addressing a crucial but often neglected aspect of farm management. It not only simplifies the estate planning process but also fosters healthier communication within farming families, thereby ensuring the smooth transition and sustainability of Canadian farms.

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