The actual point in time for handing over a farm from one generation to the other depended on various factors and was not specified anywhere. In his literary works, Jeremias Gotthelf mentioned several reasons for the transference of property: when a son married, if the farmer had a particularly capable son, or if the farmer could no longer perform the necessary hard tasks. He suggested that wise farmers should give their offspring the opportunity to become independent sooner rather than later.
However, the actual transference of the farm was often delayed by the parents themselves, especially if they depended on the income from the farm. This often had adverse consequences. Sometimes the son was not allowed to marry while in his prime, with the result that children were born to older parents. Delaying the handover of the farm frequently led to a poor relationship between the generations. Not for nothing did Elisabeth Abt from the Waldenburg valley insist on an inheritance agreement, dated 22nd November 1710, requiring her heirs to treat her well «so that she has no reason to complain».