Colorado State University Extension to Deliver Estate Planning Workshops




Planning how to transfer your farm, ranch, or other business to the next generation is difficult. Just as is planning for retirement and formalizing your estate plan. The many emotional issues involved with such planning causes us to procrastinate. We don’t want to make some of the tough decisions, so we don’t!

Yet, if we don’t proactively plan for our retirement, selecting someone to take over the ranch, or formalize our estate plans, things could get messy. We may miss out spending much time with our grandchildren or touring the country. We could cause our family to argue or even split up due to our unwillingness to talk with our families and plan for the future. Also, the government has a plan settling our estate – though no one may like the results.

Experts at Colorado State University understand you may be uncomfortable with these topics and the importance of planning for the transfer of your business to the next generation, making plans for retirement, and formalizing estate plans. Jeff Tranel and Dr. Norm Dalsted, agricultural and business management economists, have been working with farm and ranch families for over 30 years.

“One of the greatest reasons that farms and ranches fail in the second generation is that Mom and Dad did not talk with their children and plan” says Dr. Dalsted. “It’s almost like they want their children to be unsuccessful – yet, I know they don’t.”

Tranel and Dalsted have worked with hundreds of farm and ranch families throughout Colorado. They have conducted almost 50 “Leaving a Lasting Legacy” workshops in which they focus on family communications, the four pillars of a lasting legacy, and setting goals for the next generations.

Colorado State University Extension will host workshops focusing on business succession and estate planning in Holyoke on February 15th, Springfield on February 23rd, Gunnison on March 2nd, and Meeker on March 9th.

Joining Tranel and Dalsted are Jenna Keller and Deb Conway. Ms. Keller and Conway are attorneys who work with farm and ranch families throughout Colorado and Nebraska as they formalize their estates.

People interested in participating in a “Handing it off to the Kids!” workshop should contact CSU Extension. In order to guarantee ample seating and copies of materials, people should register at least one week before the date of the workshop.

According to Tranel, “passing on one’s life work is important and critical to the success of the farm and ranch business. People should really discuss their wishes with family members, develop and document good succession and estate plans, and then consult with their attorney and accountant.”

The workshop held in Springfield, Colorado will take place on Thursday, February 23rd.  The program will take place at the Minnick Building on the Baca County Fairgrounds from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  To reserve your spot, contact the CSU Extension Baca County Office at (719)523-6971 or email In order to guarantee ample seating and copies of materials, registration will be due Thursday, February 16th, one week prior to the workshop in Springfield.  Cost to attend is $50 per family (up to 3 people) with an additional charge of $10 for each family member over the initial 3.

CSU Extension offers up-to-date, unbiased, research-based information to families in Southeast Colorado. CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination.

Filed Under: AgricultureConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEducationFeaturedHealthMedia Release


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