Farm & Ranch Planning

According to the USDA, an estimated 70% of all U.S. farmland will change hands in the next twenty years.  Further, the USDA has found that if an existing farm or ranch family has not adequately planned for succession, it is more likely to go out of business, be absorbed into ever-larger farming neighbors, or be converted to non-farm uses.   More than any other business, the farm or ranch relies heavily on intergenerational succession.  It is more than just business – it is a legacy, a heritage passed down over hundreds of years.  Successful farm or ranch succession planning involves an interrelationship and balancing of business planning and estate planning.  
  
The objective of succession planning for farmers and ranchers is to create a plan for the farm or ranch business that will allow it to endure successfully beyond the current generation while still caring for the needs of the preceding generation. The failure to plan can:
  • cause financial insecurity for both generations of the farm or ranch family;
  • be a source of intra-family conflict, especially when multiple children are involved;
  • result in the forced sale of land to pay taxes or other obligations.   
Do you and your family want to:
  1. Plan for the orderly transition of control of the farm or ranch operation?
  2. Provide sufficient income to the retiring generation?
  3. Provide sufficient income to the next generation to induce them to stay?
  4. Recognize the value of your children who stay on the farm or ranch?
  5. Treat children who do not participate in the farm/ranch operation fairly (which does not necessarily mean equally)?
  6. Maintain the benefits of farm subsidy and crop insurance programs?
  7. Prevent the loss of the farm or ranch to pay for the cost of nursing homes and health care?
  8. Avoid the sale of the farm or ranch to pay estate taxes?
All of these objectives can be effectively accomplished through a custom designed farm and ranch succession plan.  Whether it’s the use of Corporations, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs), Trusts, or the gifting or sale of assets, the attorneys at Hallock & Hallock are prepared to discover your goals and objectives and work with you through the difficult decisions to prepare a proper plan.   Begin the discussion today of your farm or ranch plan to succeed through the generations.