Swanwick Murray Roche Lawyers

74 Victoria Parade, Rockhampton QLD 4700   •   (07) 4931 1888   •   SERVICE PORTAL

Rural Succession Planning Lawyers

What is rural succession planning?

This specialist field of work goes by many names – farm inheritance, rural inter-generational transfers, family succession planning, family future planning, agribusiness succession planning.

Whatever you call it, rural succession planning is arguably more important than planning your next muster or transacting property. Those things consider the next 10 years or so.

Future family planning considers your legacy and the legacy of your family on your rural property. Agribusiness succession planning is the process by which your ensure and protect your family’s legacy on the property into the future.

Isn’t agri family inheritance planning just a Will and some other documents?

Once upon a time, a Will was all that was needed to finalise your legacy and leave your instructions about what is to happen to your estate. As a result of developments in the law, rural succession planning is so much more than just a Will.

Nowadays, we need to consider and plan for any number of risks that could jeopardise your legacy and final wishes. Those risks could include:

  • your Will being contested (your property may not go where you want it to go and your estate may be tied up in costly litigation);
  • a beneficiary under your Will being made a bankrupt (the property gifted to them may be taken by the bankruptcy trustee);
  • one of your children divorcing their partner (the property gifted to your child may be claimed by their partner in a divorce or separation);
  • your children may wish to argue between themselves about the property;
  • there may be claims that your Will is invalid;
  • step-children or new spouses to you (whether married or not) may wish to claim on your estate if they are left with nothing;
  • people who were dependent on you during your lifetime may have a claim on your estate;
  • complicated financing arrangements and property dealings may have unintended consequences if not properly accounted for in your Will;
  • other risks depending on your unique circumstances.

So what do you need to do for your farm succession planning?

The best thing to do is to have a meeting with our rural estate planning lawyer. In that meeting you can seek advice about what options are available to you for your estate having regard to the issues present in your estate.

Such a meeting will take between 1 hour to 3 hours depending on the complexity of your estate. During that meeting, we will set out some suggestions for strategies to protect your estate and your legacy to best match what you want to do with your estate.

Our agri succession planning solicitors are here to guide you and advise you.

Everything that you ultimately choose to do with your rural estate planning will be based on good advice and according only to what you want. There is no obligation to proceed with any recommendation that we make.

What are some future planning strategies you can use?

There are many strategies to have a strong and effective Will and future family plan to deal with your estate.

Those strategies could include:

  • inter-generational transfers of property during your lifetime to avoid the property being part of your estate after your death;
  • inter-family loan arrangements to protect property;
  • co-ownership agreements regarding property to minimise disputes;
  • enduring power of attorneys to deal with matters in the event that you are incapacitated but not dead;
  • review and amendment of partnership, trust, company and superannuation arrangements to ensure that they allow the appropriate process for your death (you only get one shot at it);
  • amending title holdings for property to allow them to be held by family members
  • testamentary trusts, disability trusts, life estates, life permits and other trust arrangements to deal with other issues that might arise;
  • drafting estate provisions based on accountants advice to deal with tax and other risk issues that may be mounting in your estate;
  • many other strategies depending on your unique circumstances.

When is the best time to look at your future rural family planning?

If you are about to buy or sell rural property or already hold rural property, you should consult your lawyer about your rural property Will and estate planning.

Certainly, we all hope that we will live our lives to the end of our natural life cycle however it is not the reality for some people. Having a satisfactory estate plan current with where you are in your life, is critical for the future protection of your family future plan.

Who else should you consult about your agri succession planning?

Good rural succession planning should have regard to legal issues, accounting and tax matters and family specific issues.

Therefore, if you work regularly with any consultants, they will be a valuable part of the process.

An accountant and tax specialist is also a highly valuable advice source in this process.

What about capital gains tax, stamp duty and death duties?

Thanks to a number of government exemptions and concessions, capital gains tax and stamp duty on transfers (whether on death or during your lifetime) of rural property for family planning (subject to conditions) is largely non-existent.

This is, of course, subject to your accountants advice and your rural succession solicitors advice to your particular circumstances.

What do you need to do to prepare for a rural succession planning appointment?

Our succession planning lawyers talk through the issues with your estate during the first appointment. You typically do not need to bring anything.

At the end of the first appointment, we will be able to write up a list of any other documents or things you need to do before the next stage.

Why Swanwick Murray Roche?

Our Principal Lawyer, Robert Rooney, grew up in rural Queensland and still has family out west. Growing up, he drove cattle with his father along the stock routes between Hughenden and Roma and built fences and stock yards all around Central Western Queensland.

Educated in Rockhampton and South East Queensland, he is a lawyer who truly understands the nature of rural life and the legal needs of people from the bush.

We are constantly improving and training our staff to stay in front of legal changes. We develop and provide solid commercial legal advice to guide you and your legacy into the future.


Call 4931 1888 to speak with our family future planning lawyers today or email enquiries@smrlaw.com.au


Our Team

Meet the solicitors who can help you with these issues.

Robert Rooney


Property Business & Succession

Sarah Cole

Senior Solicitor

Commercial, Property and Succession Solicitor

Damien Martin

Senior Associate

Commercial, Property & Succession Law