When farmers get older, they start worrying about what will happen to the farm, after they pass away. Many would like to keep the farm in the family.
Sometimes farmers only have one child and that child would like to take over the farm. However, most of the time, farmers have multiple children. One, all or none of the children may have any interest in the farm. That makes planning seem difficult, but there are many options available to structure an estate plan that can both treat your family fairly and ensure the succession of the farm the way you envision. For an example see the following three steps to consider, as Agriculture.com discusses in "3 Steps To Succession Planning."
- Communicate with family members about what you want to happen to your farm after you pass away and figure out what your family expects to happen. This is especially important when children are not interested in farming, so their inheritance expectations can be known and taken into account.
- Try to determine what tools are available to meet your goals. If you can modify a lease agreement to help meet your goals, then that may be an available tool.
- The last thing to do is to determine your legal options. This is where a good estate planning attorney comes into play.
Having an estate and business planning attorney that has worked with families that farm is crucial, as they can listen to your goals discuss options on how best to meet them. What that will look like will vary because every family farm is different.
Reference: Agriculture.com (March 8, 2018) "3 Steps To Succession Planning."