Ferguson Featured Speaker at National Farmers Annual Convention
Curt W. Ferguson was a featured speaker at the National Farmers Organization 2016 annual convention, held in Peoria, Illinois, January 25-27. His 50 minute presentation to the family farm audience was entitled “Transition Planning: A Process, Not an Event.” Farm families have three important things to transfer from one generation to the next: Opportunity, Control and Capital. Ferguson presented a Three Step Strategy™ for a transition plan that will work. “Focusing first on taxes is a big mistake,” he says. “Starting there means you are letting the politicians define your goals for you. Rather, focus on the real world goals for your operation: What will it look like in 10 years? Who will be in charge? How will the whole family be affected?”
Looking at everything first through an ‘avoid taxes’ lens distorts the view of the broader, personal goals and will artificially limit your freedom to do what you want. Step 1 is to work with counselling oriented planning professionals who will help you keep the focus on the non-tax objectives. “When your family, farming and fairness goals are clear,” says Ferguson, “then the right professionals will help you make the necessary commitments to accomplishing those goals while (of course!) doing so with the greatest possible tax efficiency.”
Ferguson is founder and President of The Estate Planning Center, a law firm in Salem that is devoted to helping people maximize the positive impact of their lives and legacies through careful and proactive business succession and estate planning. The firm offers monthly public workshops for the individuals and families who want to learn about the planning process. Call 618-548-3729 or visit their website for more information.