Should we have a revocable trust? What’s the difference between joint tenancy and tenants in common? Should we have an LLC? Are trusts good? What’s a fair land price for our farming heir? What kind of life insurance we should get, if any, for our land buyout? What planning options are even out there?

Have questions like these held you up on your farm succession planning? What resources are available to answer your questions and move forward with your farm estate goals?

After 20 years of co-owning Farm Financial Strategies, I’m realizing there are a lot of repetitive problems, even though every situation is unique. Everybody is at their own stage of planning and things are constantly changing in farming and estate planning. One of our Farm Financial Strategies associates, Mark McLaughlin, and I had a similar idea several years ago so we started an additional business called Farm Estate GPS. This doesn’t replace Farm Financial Strategies but rather it’s an educational in-between step. Some people want to just dig in and start their planning. However, others are just seeking unbiased information that’s relevant to their farm. They just want some questions answered. They want ideas. They want some “think-time,” and they want to do it on their own time.

Farm Estate GPS was developed as an online resource with the goal of providing straight-forward education to subscribers with a video library full of information they can access anytime, anywhere. We also use this platform to stay connected to our existing clients. Everything has been moving along well, but we didn’t realize how unique the timing of Farm Estate GPS was relative to the coronavirus restrictions for in-person gatherings. Winter is prime time for farm shows and estate planning, but just because we may not always be able to meet in person, the need has not changed.

Farm Estate GPS may be a good resource for you if you want to learn more about farm estate planning. Here are several resources:

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  • Our Website: www.farmestategps.com. Determine which of our membership levels would serve you best. You can also download our free Farm Estate GPS Succession Guide. The SEED membership is free and our quick videos will illustrate farm succession issues from a unique perspective and keep you posted on our upcoming events. The GROW membership is low cost and gives you full access to the whole library including videos, study guides, terms, definitions, and cab cams in an easy to access format. The HARVEST membership is where we roll up the sleeves and do the one-on-one planning as we’ve always done through Farm Financial Strategies.
  • Free online seminars: Starting at 6 p.m. Central Standard Time on Dec. 14, Jan. 11, Feb. 8 and March 8, we will be providing information-filled workshops that are absolutely free to watch from the comfort of your home. Sign-up information will be listed on our website.
  • Farm Estate GPS Facebook Page: We’ll keep you in the loop on farm succession issues and Farm Estate GPS events.
  • Farm Estate GPS YouTube Channel: Watch our GPS cab-cam videos where we share more quick tips and farm succession insights.

I’ve enjoyed writing columns for a variety of publications over the last 20 years. I love highlighting relevant stories and information in about 600 words that this great space provides, and I hope to continue doing that. Now if you’re looking for even more low-cost or no-cost unbiased information, then check out Farm Estate GPS this winter. Sure, I love doing everything in-person, and it’s a little different presenting online, but to be positive there are some huge benefits in doing it this way too. We hope you can join us through any of these resources.

Myron Friesen is the co-owner of Farm Financial Strategies Inc. in Osage, Iowa. He can be contacted at 866-524-3636 or friesen@farmestate.com.