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Transition Thursdays Webinar: Family Communication and Heritage

 by Amber Roberts, Extension educator 

The intergenerational transition of farms and land requires both planning and communication. If there isn't communication on the front end, all of the planning and legal tools used will not hold in the long term.  Strong communication throughout the transition process can ensure that the wishes of the retiring generation are met and can preserve the heritage of the land and farm. Family Resiliency Extension Educator Becky Hagen Jokela and Forestry Extension Educator Mike Reichenbach discuss tools to help improve family communication during the transition process. They also share their personal stories of transitioning a family cabin and a 5th generation working farm to highlight the complexities and importance of family communication. 

Tools for Effective Communication:

Grandma's Yellow Pie Plate: This tool helps families address common decision making obstacles when passing on personal, non-titled possessions. 

Getting the Conversation Going: How do you start a conversation about what is important to you? The first step in building a successful plan for land transfer is communication between the current owners and the heirs. These conversations are not easy. When people fail to sort out what is most important to them, the result is often misunderstandings, wrong assumptions, and conflict. These worksheets can help heirs and retiring owners get the conversation started around maintaining harmony, fairness, and discovering personal values.

Heirloom ScaleThe Heirloom scale is often used by families to begin the conversation about the transfer of land from one generation to the next. It is not necessary for all family members to agree. What is important is understanding the differences between family members and how that might affect the transfer of your hopes and dreams and land to the next generation.

Legacy Planning Stories: A collection of stories about fellow woodland landowners like you, the legacies they are creating, and how they are planning for the future of their land.

Protecting Your Legacy: A Minnesota landowner’s guide to conservation-based estate planning. This book helps landowners think through who will own their land, how will it be used, and what will your legacy be? 

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