The Farmer’s Mission
For farmers, the family farm is a symbol of their heritage, and often their life’s work. Preserving this for the next generation presents unique challenges that can be met successfully with the right kind of guidance and preparation. Without adequate planning, years of effort may go to waste and family relationships can be irreparably damaged.
There are many concerns for farm families as the current farming generation ages and passes on, including:
- Farmers are often “land rich” and have limited cash available. This presents many issues like how will long term care be paid for, will the farm be sold at the farmer’s death, and are there tax considerations?
- The farmland may be subject to significant amounts of debt. Who will be responsible for it and how will it be paid?
- Some family members work on the farm, while others don’t. How will farmers ensure harmony is preserved among the entire family while ensuring the continued successful operation of the farm?
Why do farmers procrastinate when it comes to planning? Here are the most common objections we hear:
“What is estate planning and why do I need it?”
Farmers like to tell themselves that “their time” won’t ever end as a way to dodge dealing with their retirement years. Planning is the only way to ensure it continues. If wishes aren’t expressed, then someone else will decide and it may not be what the farmer wished.
“I know I need to. I’ve just been putting it off. Surely waiting another year won’t matter.”
Farmers have many demands, which make it easy to put estate planning at the bottom of the list. Farmers shouldn’t fall trap to feeling too busy to make their estate planning a priority. Farmers don’t have to figure all of this out on their own. We are here to make the process as streamlined and efficient as possible, letting the farmer get back to the farm.
“I don’t like sharing the details of my ‘stuff’ with others.”
Farm families are very private and are taught this lesson from generations before, but we must know the details to help create the best plan. Everything shared with us is kept confidential.
“Some of my family works the farm, others don’t. I can’t figure out how to make it fair.”
Many farmers put off their estate planning because they try to come up with the perfect solution. That’s why they need advice. Many strategies exist including the use of Trusts, Limited Liability Companies, Tenancy Agreements, etc. We can help determine which strategies are suitable to achieve a farm family’s specific goals.