When most folks think of estate assets, they tend to think of stocks, bonds, cash, collectibles, a family business, a personal residence and maybe a vacation home or timeshare.
For some Americans, especially out here in the heartland, an essential estate asset is right under our very feet.
And lots of it.
Guess what, God is not making any more of it either.
Consequently, family farming and ranching operations are critical to anyone who shops at the grocery store, let alone those who work the land as their calling.
So, why the sense of urgency, Kyle?
We need look no further than a recent article in the Black Hills Pioneer “Planning for Farmland” for our answer.
It seems a quarter (1/4) of the nation’s agricultural land is likely to change hands in the next decade, according to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Accordingly, it is to everyone's benefit that this huge amount of land remain productive and valuable.
Again, the key to realizing this pressing goal is effective estate planning.
To this end, the NRCS notes that estate planning can help in at least four (4) ways:
- Transfer ownership and management of the agricultural operation, land, and other assets to a new operator;
- Avoid unnecessary transfer taxes, such as income, gift, and estate) taxes;
- Provide for financial security and peace of mind for all generations; and
- Foster the next generation’s management capacity.
As explained in the original article, an organization under the NRCS is the American Farmland Trust (AFT).
The AFT serves agricultural landowners, concerned citizens, planners, local officials, state agency staff, land trusts, and policymakers.
In short, the AFT is the go-to resource for answers to complex questions on all types of issues.
If you are part of a farming and/or ranching family, do not go it alone.
Consult an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure your farmland is protected so you can protect your family.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Black Hills Pioneer (September 4, 2015) “Planning for Farmland”