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.

Through its policies it brings together people in the agricultural community and invests in building vibrant communities that support agriculture.
Eric Bernstein 's avatar
Eric Bernstein

Wyandot County Farm Bureau

Future employees, leaders
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, D.C.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
If you have issues with local planning or have legal questions, someone at the Farm Bureau has the answer for you, or they’ll connect you with someone who does.
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Gayle Hansen

Cuyahoga County Farm Bureau

Hansen's Greenhouse
As a member of Farm Bureau, I am glad that this organization takes action when necessary to protect and advance agriculture.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

Policy Development
Farm Bureau is an incredible organization that has given me countless professional development opportunities in addition to advocating for all sizes and types of farmers.
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Shana Angel

Tuscarawas County Farm Bureau

We go to a lot of Farm Bureau events, and there’s a lot of camaraderie built because you’re meeting with people who have similar interests and goals.
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Andy Hollenback

Licking County Farm Bureau

Event Calendar
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