Early Estate Planning Important for Farmers

Estate planning is especially important for farmers and ranchers, as it assists them in passing the farm and its operation along to the next generation, and may save some taxes in the process. A recent article discusses important steps in the process of estate planning for farmers and ranchers.

Field Barn Near Shaw Farm - Desert Law Group


According to New York Life Insurance Co. consultant Dave Thompson, many farmers and ranchers put off estate planning because they believe that it is too complicated, don’t like dealing with the thought of their own death, or simply find it unnecessary. According to Thompson, however, “The sooner you start, the better off you will be.”

Farmers and ranchers should begin the discussion with their families. It is important to ask family members important questions such as who would like to be the successor to the farm, and what kind of distribution scheme the family members believe would be fair. It is also important to discuss where assets are located, and what they are worth.

Often, the farm will be the largest portion of the estate. It is important to begin as early as possible to explore various options to leave the farm assets. Oftentimes, only one of the children wants to work on the farm. With proper planning, the farm operation is able to continue, intact, and the children can be treated fairly.