Handing over the keys to the tractor

Handing over the keys to the tractor

In NSW there are about 39,000 rural and farming businesses. The average farmer is about 57 years of age and has worked on the land for about 36 years.

The legal imperatives of succession planning within a sector that is dominated by family owned farms was the theme of 60th Annual CLE conference held in Armidale this month where Turnbull Hill Lawyers Partner, Warwick Gilbertson, was invited to provide the keynote address.

Warwick spoke to a delegation of 100 lawyers from across regional New South Wales about the challenges of passing on the farm while minimising family discord.

“Finding the fair and equitable balance for effective estate planning requires a detailed knowledge of the law and the sector, but importantly, it’s about understanding the complexities of relationships within rural communities,” Warwick said.

“For farmers, estate planning is often focussed on the many levels of legislation, compliance, finance and ownership arrangements, but in most instances it boils down to understanding key issues around the future of the homestead, infrastructure, the property, plant, equipment and stock.

“This is often about managing the expectations of family now and into the future.”

Warwick is one of the legal sector’s most experienced advisors regarding wills, powers of attorney, guardianship, trusts, companies, superannuation funds, business entities and the claims that can be made upon them.

Warwick has more than 40 years’ experience in contested wills and estate cases in the Equity and Probate Divisions of the Supreme Court and is an accredited specialist in family law, a member of the Taxation Institute of Australia and a Trust and Estate Practitioner (TEP). He is also one of a handful of TEPs in the Hunter region. Prior to moving to Newcastle in 2003, Warwick was the litigation partner in a legal practice in Bathurst for 20 years, acting for many rural and city clients. He was also a rural producer running Merinos, some cattle, a Poll Dorset sheep stud and a partner in a piggery.

IMAGE | Turnbull Hill Lawyers Partner, Warwick Gilbertson recently presented at the 60th Annual CLE conference held in Armidale.

Turnbull Hill Lawyers

Turnbull Hill Lawyers, serving Newcastle, Hunter, Central Coast, Sydney, and NSW since 1969, offers comprehensive legal services.

Their team, including Adrian Corbould and Mary Windeyer, prioritises client satisfaction through personalised service, expertise, and attention to detail. They handle a diverse range of legal matters for individuals and businesses, ensuring practical and creative solutions tailored to each client's objectives. 

With a commitment to efficiency, accessibility, and value for money, they've earned a stellar reputation and numerous accolades, including recognition in the prestigious Doyles Guide. Despite their growth, they remain dedicated to treating every client with the same importance as their first, maintaining the ethos of their founding principles.

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