For farmers, one of the issues that may come to the front of their mind when estate planning is how their estate plan addresses what will happen with their farmland. However, land is not the only farming-related asset that can raise important estate planning issues for farmers. For one, it can be very important for farmers to give careful thought to their farm's business assets in their estate planning.
There are a variety of different business assets a farm can have, such as farming equipment and machinery. These assets can be vital to a farm's ability to operate in a successful fashion.
There are multiple estate planning issues it can be important to give careful thought to when it comes to farming-related business assets, including:
- After-death distribution: What steps a farmer takes in their will, trusts or other estate planning devices to address how business assets will be distributed when they die can have significant impacts on how likely their estate plan is to achieve their goals for what will happen with their farm when they pass away.
- Asset protection: There are estate planning devices that may be able to help farmers with protecting important business assets of their farm from unnecessary depletions that could endanger their farm's future.
- The federal estate tax: A farm's business assets may have a very high dollar value. Sometimes, the value of these assets is so great it could potentially push a farmer's estate into a value level where it would be subject to the federal estate tax. Thus, it can be important for farmers to understand what impacts how farm business assets are dealt with in an estate plan could have on potential estate tax exposure and if estate tax planning is something they may need to do when it comes to business assets and other assets related to their farm.
Our firm offers estate planning services to farmers. We can help farm owners with a wide range of different estate planning issues, including those related to farm business assets. We understand how farm-related estate planning can often involve a great amount of intermingling of family and business issues, and we are experienced in both business and family estate planning matters.