Farmers requires thorough estate planning.
You are a farmer.
The work is in your blood.
The land is in your family.
You want to keep it this way for generations to come.
According to a recent The Bangor Daily News article titled “How farmers can start an estate plan,” you risk loosing everything without an estate plan.
Have you started your estate planning?
If not, you should.
Where do you begin?
Start by defining your goals.
Write down you wishes and fears for the future of your farm.
Farmers need to include business succession in their estate planning.
Consider carefully who you want to succeed you in managing the farm when you die.
This individual or team should be knowledgeable, capable, and passionate about your farm.
In some cases, your children or grandchildren may want to manage the farm when you no longer can.
Some farmers, however, have no willing (or able) heir to succeed them in the family business.
If you have no blood relation to take over, you may need to arrange a sale to young farmer outside of the family.
Inventory your personal and business assets, including the deeds to your land.
The transferring your assets will be more complicated because so much of your net worth is likely tied up in the farm.
Finding an experienced estate planning attorney is essential for farmers.
All people should have a last will and testament, health care directives, and a power of attorney.
You likely would benefit from creating and fully funding a revocable living trust to avoid probate.
Farmers tend to work where they live and rear their families.
Making detailed and thorough plans can ensure your estate plan does not divide your family or your farm.
Reference: Bangor Daily News (March 5, 2020) “How farmers can start an estate plan”