Who likes to talk about death? Aside from morticians, even thinking about death makes most of us uneasy. It's naturally difficult for most farmers. Regardless, farmers and their family members need to think about the future of their business and livelihood for their survivors.
A recent AgriNews article, "Estate planning can lessen grief for survivors," emphasizes that the land is key. It's the heart of the business. Estate planning is about protecting that land. You should seek the advice of a qualified and experienced estate planning attorney who is well-versed in current estate laws and farm business operations in the state.
This conversation and the plans you make with his or her help could preserve family and business relationships, avoid giving any more to the government than necessary, and provide peace of mind to both you and future generations. An estate planning attorney may suggest a trust for your specific situation. One common issue with creating a trust without help is that you can miss a legal nuance in the moveover process of the property. This will stall execution of a plan, so it's critical that you and your attorney think through the entire process to ensure what you want can happen without any problems.
Another common issue, especially with farmland, is thinking that dividing property equally is what you must do. Not so. If some of the heirs are not farmers, it might be easier to equally divide the money from selling off the land. Talk with an estate planning attorney to make sure you protect your land and do what you believe is right and fair for your children. We can help you with that.
Reference: AgriNews (December 31, 2015) "Estate planning can lessen grief for survivors"