Rural Succession and Continuity Roadshow – Day 1 – Emerald

It was an early start this morning to set up for our first presentation in Emerald.

John Moor from RCS opened the proceedings with introductions of all the speakers and an outline of the RCS approach to succession planning.

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First cab off the rank was Simone Lawrie who spoke about her family’s succession planning journey facilitated by RCS.  Claudia Power from RCS also spoke about her own experience in relation to succession planning and facilitated a discussion between the “younger generation” and the “older generation”.

It was clear from the discussion among the groups that there were a number of key concerns that both groups about the approach to succession planning and what they wanted to achieve.

The picture below clearly shows that both generations want to see family harmony, independence, financial stability, and fairness as some of the key concepts when undertaking and determining a rural succession plan.

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Kylie Wilson’s presentation included a number of real-life case studies which certainly provoked some thought among the participants. It was particularly interesting to note that whilst there are some people out there claiming to undertake rural succession planning, you need to ensure that you are getting good quality advice.

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In one particular case study that Kylie spoke about, there was of substantial issue relating to transfer duty and capital gains tax which could have seen hundreds of thousands of dollars paid necessarily in tax and duty. Fortunately,  on advice from Kylie, the parties were able to legitimately minimise the tax and duty payable.

The panel discussion looked at a number of different issues including the importance of off farm investment strategies to assist in funding succession planning. As part of the panel discussion, my presentation on how family law and succession planning can collide what I hope will received. I used a number of different case studies to emphasise that as part of a rural succession plan, it is sometimes necessary to consider what might happen if marriage breakdown occurs either in the older generation or the younger generation.

It is unfortunate but necessary to have discussions about what might happen. This is not purely from the perspective of the family who might see a son-in-law or daughter-in-law taking their hard earned assets accumulated over generations if there is a marriage breakdown. As Kylie and I discussed, it can sometimes be looked at as having some sort of insurance in place for peace of mind.  This ensures that not only do families have some certainty but there is also some certainty for a spouse who might leave as a result of a marriage breakdown.

After a quick spot of lunch, Kylie and I started on the 3 1/4 hour drive from Emerald to Biloela. Surprisingly, the country is looking very green from recent rain and there appeared to be a good amount of feed for some of the Brahman cattle that we saw on the way.

It’s always interesting to see the different types of traffic you have on inland highways. There were plenty of road trains, cotton module carriers, and even a road train carrying ammonium nitrate explosives to one of the nearby mines!

We have safely made it to Biloela and did so in time to see a fantastic sunset over the town.

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