Will your land become a lasting legacy or source of a family squabble?

Learn how to guide the discussion and help keep your family farm or forestland in the family.

ARLINGTON, Wash. – Studies show over 60% of landowners never discuss their plans for succession with anyone in their families! When planning for the future of family-owned forest and farmland, many folks don’t consider that their future business partners sit down with them at the family dinner table. This fall, Washington State University Snohomish County Extension will present Ties to the Land, a two-part workshop designed to help landowners plan thoughtfully for the future of their land and legacy.

Part one is Thursday, March 11, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; part two is on Thursday, April 1, 2010 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Location for both sessions is at Hadley Hall in the Arlington Boys & Girls Club, 18513 59th Ave NE, Arlington, WA.

Landowners often dream of having their children inherit their land and manage it with the same care they have taken. Unfortunately, this rarely happens without thoughtful planning. Those who fail to plan risk a final outcome they may not like—loss of the land and loss of a legacy.

Originally developed by landowners, extension agents, and business experts from Oregon State University, Ties to the Land explores succession planning—the “human side” of estate planning. The award-winning program stresses the importance of formulating a plan with the entire family, involving all generations in management decisions early on, and holding family meetings to understand everyone’s goals. You’ll learn how to start and continue the conversation, as well as tips for guiding the process so that everyone feels part of the final result. In addition, estate planning experts will help provide the voice of experience during a panel discussion on the second evening.

Local landowners Don and Florence Theoe recently participated in the seminar and stress its importance. “Talking about these tough issues as a family is critical, especially when multiple heirs with varying levels of interest and engagement in the family business are involved,” says Don. “The Ties to the Land workshop and associated materials provide excellent guidance on how to get these conversations going.”

Advance registration is required and class size is limited. The cost for the two-part workshop is $75 per family. To register, contact Karie Christensen at (425) 357-6039 or at klchristen@cahnrs.wsu.edu.

For more information on the series, contact Kevin Zobrist at (425) 357-6017, email kzobrist@wsu.edu, or visit http://snohomish.wsu.edu/forestry/TTL2010.htm.

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