A large number of farm succession plans are trust-based due to the need for flexibility and creativity to address a farmer’s succession goals. The trust assets will be managed by a trustee, which makes selecting a trustee a key question for you and your family to answer. 

Needless to say, you want to select a trustee who you can trust.

When selecting a trustee, you should keep a couple important traits in mind.

First, a trustee should be organized and good with keeping records. Your trustee must be capable of managing the various assets in your trust.

Second, a trustee must also be able to follow the directions that you put into the trust document, as well as handle the discretionary decisions you give him or her. Your trust is likely to include both direction and discretion, but the balance between these is up to you. You might favor direction if you trust the trustee, but are concerned about his or her ability to withstand pressure from beneficiaries.

Third, a trustee should be someone you can rely on.  If you are already hesitant while you are still alive, that could be your gut telling you that this person might not be the best person to carry out your legacy.

Farmers typically select a qualified family member or friend to serve as trustee. If you do not have a family member or friend who is qualified to serve as trustee, you can always designate a corporate trustee, such as a bank or trust company.  Corporate trustees charge an administration fee, so be sure you understand how much they charge before you select a corporate trustee.

A major goal of farm succession planning is for you to sleep easily knowing that your legacy is secure. Talk about your trustee options with family, friends or your attorney.  In the end, trust your instinct.

Wright & Moore Law Co., LPA has a rich heritage in Ohio agriculture. Since 1988, our firm has proudly assisted farmers, rural residents, and landowners from all over the state with their farm succession planning and agricultural legal needs. We would be happy to discuss your family goals and how to meet them. To learn more about Wright & Moore or schedule a meeting, call 740-990-0750 or visit OhioFarmLaw.com.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
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Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
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Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
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Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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