Good question, isn’t it. It can seem like an overwhelming duty. If you are to preserve the family farm, the time for inaction must be over.
Are you ready to have the peace of mind that comes from preserving the family farm. If you are ready to prioritize “what will happen” when you can’t farm anymore, then this is a problem that can be solved.
Resolve to get estate planning done is the first step. However, procrastination ruins good intentions.
I get it. Who likes to talk about aging and all that come with it? Who likes to talk about death? In this regard farmers and ranchers are no different from the general population…other than having a bit more of stubborn streak than the average Joe.
It is about your legacy. It is about your family. It is about the land. It is about preserving our unique American way of life.
This was the focus of a AgriNews article titled “Estate planning can lessen grief for survivors.” This article reinforces that land is the heart and soul of any family farming and ranching business.
Estate planning is about protecting that land. And your family. And your legacy. I understand–you want to preserve the family farm and family relationships, avoid giving any more to the government than necessary, and provide peace of mind for both you and future generations, right?
Estate Planning for farmers doesn’t happen on its own. Like it or not, your legacy will be greatly defined about how (and whether) you go about taking care of this seemingly overwhelming duty.
As a rancher or farmer, you know better than anyone that planning for the future is critical. Those without a plan don’t last long. Your farm is more than just a business, it’s even more than simply a way of life — it’s your family’s legacy. If that legacy is to continue, you must act or the government (probate courts) and the banks have a plan already in place for you…and trust me, you won’t like it. Their plan destroys what you’ve spent a lifetime of blood and sweat to build.
An up-to-date and complete estate plan that is mindful of farm succession (both management and ownership) is necessary if your dream of your grandchildren one day walking the land with their children, and taking the same satisfaction of knowing what they do every day is a vital part of our evermore unique American way of life.
You’ve seen the mess that happens when there is no plan in place. I’ve seen it myself both in my family and in my law practice. When planning for the certainty of uncertainty does not happen, the devastation has a rippling effect over generations. Hell, you may have even benefited from your neighbor’s lack of planning when their family was forced to sell in less than ideal circumstances. Do you want Big Ag and their stockholders owning the land you’ve care for?
I bet I know the answers to these questions. These issues and problems won’t fix themselves. How to preserve the family farm doesn’t happen by chance. A rain dance never brought the rain and “thinking” about estate planning never got it done. So, if you know you’ve got a problem worth fixing, if you have a legacy to protect and a spouse, kids and grandkids counting on you, what do you do and who can you trust?
First, decide it’s worth fixing and something you are going to stop putting off. Preserving the family farm has immeasurable value. Whether your early into building your farm, knee deep in your prime or slowing down, the need to get this done is the same because we all know tomorrow is not promised.
This is not a do-it-yourself project. This is not about filling is some blanks on a form over the internet. The stakes are too high. You need an attorney committed to your goals and understanding of your way of life. The old way of thinking was that estate planning was a one-time thing that you could forget about once you signed the Will. That never was a good idea and simply in not what is in anyone’s best interest. You need to have an attorney that will help you plan, but also (and most importantly) be there when you need them the most.
So, ask others who they have used? Look for someone local, if possible. Ask you accountant? Ask someone you trust? Maybe you meet with a couple different attorney, too.
Or maybe, give us a call and get this done right.