Succession and estate plans are needed in order to keep the farm in operation.
If a farmer wants the farm to keep operating after passing, a detailed plan is needed, according to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog in “I’d Bet the Farm on It!“
When some people think of “family farms”, they think of small operations that can easily be handled by one or two people.
However, people who live in rural areas, especially farmers themselves, know that family farms are much bigger today than they are in the popular imagination.
Family farms can be gigantic operations with many employees. Farmers have to know how to navigate often complex government regulations, lending practices and supplier requirements, all while keeping an eye on volatile commodity prices.
The most important thing for farmers to do, is often the most difficult. That is figuring out who is going to inherit the farm and continue running it.
Not every family member will have the knowledge or desire to run a farm. Sometimes, it might even be necessary to make arrangements for someone else to operate the farm, after the owner passes away.
Once it is determined who will run the farm, figuring out how others in the family will receive a fair inheritance is necessary to avoid any family fights.
Since the bulk of most farmers’ assets are tied up in their farms, this is where estate planning needs to come into play.
An estate planning attorney can advise you on planning for secession as well as fair inheritance decisions for a business operation, including farm land.