FARM BUSINESS NEWS
Minding Ag's Business
Marcia Zarley Taylor DTN Executive Editor
Tue Jan 7, 2014 09:01 AM CST

Setting ground rules for fair treatment of business partners is the best preventative medicine for conflict in farms and other closely-held businesses, instructors at this week's TEPAP conference in Austin, Texas stressed. Not only will this deflect misunderstandings later, it could avoid legal judgments from increasingly unsympathetic courts.

Don't wait until death, divorce, disability or a partner's departure to discuss how to value the family business. It's always better to set the policy before the need, says farmer-financial consultant Dick Wittman of Culdesac, Idaho.

Wittman encourages families to tally all their assets (reduced for any taxes the firm would need ...

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