Questions to ask when making succession plans

Planning a successful transition for a family business can be a difficult subject to discuss. During the Ohio Farm and Food Leadership Forum, Ohio State University Extension’s David Marrison offered some tips about how to start the process of talking with family members about succession planning.

Here is Marrison’s list of questions to kick off the discussion about succession planning:

  • What do we want to happen to our business?
  • Is there a future for the business?
  • How do we develop the next generation of managers?
  • How can each generation communicate its needs, desires and aspirations?
  • How can I treat my heirs fairly?
  • What is the best way to transfer my farm and personal assets?
  • Are plans being made for retirement?
  • What are our plans for the unexpected?
  • How do I get my financial affairs in order?

Ohio State will be offering farm transition workshops across Ohio. Upcoming workshops include:

  • Medina County (Jan. 21, 28)
  • Defiance County (Feb. 18, 25)
  • Fayette County (March 1, 15)
  • Pickaway County (March 22, 29)

For questions or to register for workshops, visit or contact Marrison at [email protected].