fbpx

The Future of Your Farm – It’s All in the Estate Planning

American farmerFor one of American’s most important industries, crafting an estate plan for your farming operation that works is a labor of love.

When it comes to saving the family farm for the next generation,  the importance of a proper estate plan can't be emphasized enough. Certainly every farmer knows the importance of a business plan but every plan should include succession planning for the business.

What I have attempted to create is a roadmap for the farm business, that gives your business direction, helps you make decisions, and can assist in the future. First, let's make sure we have the terminology correct. "Estate planning" deals with the disposition of your assets during your lifetime or after your death, while a succession plan is the transitioning of your farm to the next generation or others to ensure the continuation of the business. 

If you don't make a plan for the disposal of your assets, the courts in the state where you live has a plan, likely much more onerous than any you would devise.  You need to create an estate and succession plan for your farm so that you are the one who makes those critical decisions about the distribution of your assets and to guide the continuation of the business. 

Find an experienced estate and succession planning attorney. Remember that not all attorneys are well-versed in estate planning, so find a person who specializes in this complex area. Here are some ideas to produce an effective estate and succession plan that is tailored to your operation. 

Here are some helpful tips on creating an estate and succession plan for your farming operation.

  • Get ready to share. Your estate planning attorney will need to know all of the details of your operation, your investments, and your retirement planning. Be open so that your estate planning attorney can create the best plan to benefit you, your family, and your assets.
  • Get ready to open up and talk. Communication is a critical part of the process—one that's often downplayed or overlooked.
  • Get ready to involve the people who are a part of your operation. Make sure to include everyone who's involved in the operation of the farm business. This includes your spouse, your siblings, and/or heirs. They need to be consulted regarding whether they want to continue the farm business, their interest in particular family items, and any other wishes or concerns.

Reference: High Plains/Midwest Ag Journal (February 29, 2016) "Planning for the future of your farm operation"

 

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

LIKE THIS POST?

We have a LOT more where that came from!

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

Call Now ButtonCall Us Now https://jsfiddle.net/7h5246b8/

Request a free consultation

We hate spam too. We will never share or sell your information.

We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
  • We launched the rollout of our on-demand webinar early so that new clients and our allied professionals can view the important component parts of ‘an estate plan that works’ at their convenience.  That is available on our website.
  • Live video workshops will be produced as quickly as possible and certainly ahead of our previous schedule; we will keep you posted as these events become available. Given the ‘boutique’ nature of the firm, we rarely have more than ten people in our office including team members at any one time. During this period of ‘social distancing,’ we promise to have no more than 8 people at any time.   This allows us to comply with the Governor’s directive to limit in-person gatherings.
  • The best way to communicate with us is still by phone during regular office hours of 8:30 to 5:00, Monday through Friday, or, you can email any of our team members (that is, their first name followed by @zarembalaw.com).  We will respond to these emails as quickly as possible.
  • Please continue to follow the directives of our local, state, and federal agencies. For your health and in consideration of our team who is assisting you, if you’ve scheduled an office appointment or planned to drop off paperwork and are experiencing a fever, dry cough, or shortness of breath, please contact your primary care doctor for guidance and then our office to reschedule.

Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Coronavirus/Covid-19
Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.