Estate planning and farm transition conferences |

Estate planning and farm transition conferences

Brookings, SD – South Dakota State University Extension will host training sessions focused on estate planning and transitioning the family operation in Lemmon, Phillip, Redfield, Chamberlain, Yankton and Brookings, beginning Oct. 22.

Sustaining the Legacy conferences have helped farm and ranch families across the state get started on their plans by providing the tools and resources needed to get started and the know-how to get it completed, says Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist.

“Each session is filled with important information that can help farm and ranch families address questions they may face as parents or grandparents get older and consider their legacy,” said Gessner, who is organizing the conferences. “Producers have told me that the value of this program was $1 million, due to the changes they made to their estate plan and the reduction of potential estate taxes.”

Extension staff and industry professionals will help participants develop the tools they need in order to face estate-planning challenges with less stress.

Conference dates and locations

• Lemmon – Oct. 22, 23, 29 and 30, SDSU Regional Extension Center, 408 8th Street West, Lemmon

• Phillip – Oct. 25, 26, Nov. 1 and 2, Bad River Senior Center, 123 E US Hwy 14, Phillip

• Yankton – Nov. 6, 7, 13 and 14, JoDeans, 2809 Broadway Ave

• Chamberlain/Oacoma – Nov. 8, 9, 15, and 16, Cedar Shore, 1500 Shoreline Drive, Oacoma

• Redfield – Dec. 4, 5, 18 and 19, Leo’s Good Food, 602 N. Main, Redfield

• Brookings – Jan. 3, 4, 10 and 11, Days Inn, 2500 6th Street, Brookings

The training costs $75 per person. Registration is required seven days prior to the first meeting date. To register, call Gessner at 605-782-3290. Return the registration form and funds to Sioux Falls Extension Center, 2001 East 8th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57103.

Each day of the four-session program is full of tools and how-to information families can use to create and implement their individualized plan, no matter how big or small the operation.

Topics for the sessions cover communication styles, business structures, goals, asset distribution, wills and probate, retirement planning and funding, fair versus equal distribution, tax implications for the operation, life insurance, long-term care insurance, trusts, and other topics as determined by the audiences.

“Many of the past participants have utilized the information from the conference to reduce potential estate taxes and ensure that their operation is passed down to the next generation in a smooth, hassle-free transition,” Gessner said.

All family members are encouraged to attend the sessions, and on- and off-farm heirs are also invited to learn about the tools and participate in the discussions.

“Past participants have used this conference to interview attorneys and insurance agents while they are presenting the basics of using the many tools available to them,” Gessner said. “If you are making plans to retire or becoming a partner in the operation, or if you own farm or ranch assets, this program is a great start for you. Our goal is to give you the tools to develop your estate plan and the motivation to get started, combined with some gentle nudging that keeps you moving forward with the process.”

Partial funding for this program is provided by the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.

“SDR&PC is proud to be one of the sponsors for this year’s estate planning workshops. With rising land values and profit margins, estate planning has never been more important,” said Doug Hanson, a SDSRPC board member and a past participant of the conference. “My wife and I have attended these workshops in the past and have found them very informative.”

Call Gessner at her Sioux Falls Regional Extension office with questions at 605-782-3290, or e-mail her at this address: