(765) 470-7090 polly@dobbslegal.com

2016 Farm Journal Legacy Conference

Take your succession planning a step further! Join me at this year’s Farm Journal Legacy Conference, which will  be held at the Marriott Kansas City Airport in Kansas City, Missouri, from December 8-9, 2016. The conference will provide in-depth strategies on succession planning and related family matters, and will be presented by nationally recognized experts in farm succession planning. I’m honored to be joining Paul Neiffer, the Farm CPA, for a two-part general session titled “Tax and Legal Strategies for Family Farm Transitions.” I will also be presenting at a breakout session titled: “Beyond the Simple Will:  More Estate Planning Now, Less Fighting Later.” Click here to see the full agenda. Want to save money on the Conference Fee? Click here to register, and use the discount code “SpeakerGuest” to receive an additional $30 off the early bird rate and pay only $179 (early bird rate is $209 until November 11, 2016).  The normal conference fee is $309. Please share the information about the conference and the discount code to friends, family, and others who may be interested in farm succession planning. I hope to see you there, and look forward to your...

Succession Planning for Family-Owned Farms: More Planning, Less Fighting Later

Recently, I had the opportunity to contribute to the Farm Journal Legacy Project concerning family farm succession planning, a topic that is central to our firm.  I am always delighted to have the opportunity to discuss this matter, as succession planning offers the opportunity to save hurt feelings, loss of the farm, and substantial money in taxes.  The legacy of a family farm should be that of passing the farm to the next generation, not legal problems. Fairness and Determining Who Should Inherit Assets  Succession planning offers the opportunity to have open and frank conversations about the desires of the next generation.  Which children (if any) will want to work the farm?  How can parents be fair in leaving a legacy to those children who don’t want to farm if their estate is comprised almost entirely of farm assets? There are numerous ways that trusts and other legal agreements can be structured in order to provide fairness and a clear path of succession that will minimize hurt feelings and potential litigation.  At the outset, it’s important to have conversations with all involved in order to understand each person’s interests so that a cohesive and fair plan can be developed. Once the structure has been developed, the legal arrangements, including trusts and buy-sell agreements, can then be created.  Because every family’s situation will be unique, their legal matters will also be unique.  Ideally, when the time comes for the farm to pass to the next generation, the succession will be smooth, taxes will be minimized, and the farm will be protected. Non-Family Successors and Purchase Rights  In some cases, succession...