Finding the right help can make all the difference when you’re farming, searching for land, or figuring out the future of your farm. With that in mind, we want to introduce you to a service provider who comes highly recommended – Curt Ferguson of The Estate Planning Center in Salem, Illinois.
As you will hear in the video interview, he has a different take on how to motivate yourself to create a good succession plan
Succession planning is usually seen as a necessary evil to avoid the tragedies of a badly done succession plan or the even worse tragedies of not having a plan at all. But Curt, who founded The Estate Planning Center after seeing many farm families struggling with badly designed succession arrangements, encourages families to think more positively about farm succession. Undertaking the process to create a good, well-designed succession plan actually gives a family the opportunity to do a lot of good. This good can include articulating and passing down one’s values and wisdom to the next generation.
Curt believes that legal documents are NOT all that make for good and wise succession planning. Good succession planning is about understanding the values of the family and figuring out how to create a plan that integrates those values in tangible, wise, transparent ways.
Curt has a straightforward system. Before he will meet with any potential clients, they must attend a free 3-3.5 hour workshop on succession planning at The Estate Planning Center’s office in Salem, Illinois. Once a family has taken the workshop, they have a free consultation with Curt to discuss their goals. It’s only then that Curt will give them a quote for completing the plan at a flat fee.
Vicki Allen, who was a speaker in our succession planning webinar, highlighted one of the other aspects of Curt’s approach that she really appreciates – The Estate Planning Center provides all of their clients with updated legal documents every two years, just to keep up with evolving law. And while updating, they ask clients about personal changes to include along with those legal updates.
“It’s a common practice in the industry to ask clients every few years if anything has changed,” says Curt, “If nothing has changed on the client’s side, nothing gets updated. At The Estate Planning Center, we proactively and automatically keep clients up to date with the latest opportunities with documents that are ready to sign. And if you have personal changes, we include those at no additional charge.”
You can learn more about the Estate Planning Center here.
Watch the video here.