(765) 470-7090 polly@dobbslegal.com

Develop a Succession Plan Toolbox

The following article was recently published in the November issue of “Top Producer” magazine: Develop a Succession Plan Toolbox A comprehensive succession plan gives your farm the best chance of surviving for future generations, notes Polly Dobbs, an attorney at Dobbs Legal Group, LLC in Peru, Ind. There isn’t a cookie-cutter approach to estate planning, so you must factor in your goals, family dynamics and financial situation. She shares the following strategies in her own words: First Right of Refusal: This may be given during a producer’s lifetime, or it can become effective at death. A landowner can “sell” a first right of refusal to a family member, trusted neighbor or long-time tenant. Going forward, that farm cannot be sold without first being offered to the holder of the first right on the outlined terms. A right to purchase can also be effective at death. For example, your will or trust could leave the farm equally to all your children and require your off-farm children to offer their interest in the ground for sale to your on-farm children using the appraised value on the date of your death. Dynasty Trusts: Protect your farm during your children’s lifetime for ultimate distribution to your grandchildren or great-grandchildren via a dynasty trust. If your children never truly own the farm, then their creditors cannot reach it nor can they lose it in a divorce. You control who inherits the farm because your children’s last will and testament doesn’t govern the disposition of your dynasty trust’s property. A dynasty trust can ensure all farm income goes to your children for their lifetime and...