However putting a delicate, and possibly difficult, conversation off is not a sensible option. We all know of families where all, or several, children were kept in the dark and after the reading of the will, irreparable damage has been done to good family relations.
For the benefit of all, deciding who has what, at the end of our days, must be done.
The first rule is be inclusive and have an open meeting with all family members. Secondly, do not wait until you don’t feel well! The earlier you start the better.
Where property and a business is involved then it is going to be difficult to be equitable to all. In fact, for the existing business to continue it will probably be nigh impossible. However, children realise this and they know that consideration must be given to those siblings who have worked on the farm and who have made a commitment to the business.
At the same time, in this day and age, most parents want to make provision for the non-farming children and there are ways and means of doing this without prejudicing the business.
Glyn Owens, McCartneys LLP.