As an Ohio farmer, you devote your life to producing lush and profitable crops. As you consider the legacy you want to leave, estate planning can help you determine what will happen to your farm in the event of your death or incapacitation. Unfortunately, many farmers defer the planning process because they fear it will take too much time and be too complicated.
This is a common misconception, but it can be a damaging one for four big reasons:
1. Now is [much] better than later.
Time may not feel like it's of the essence, because you're not immediately aware of the consequences of deferring the planning. However, left unaddressed, estate issues can lead to fighting among your family and heirs and undermine the years of hard work that you've invested in your farm and your business.
Think of it this way. You know how crucial planning is to the success of your crops. You must begin early in the season to till the land, plant seeds, and nourish what you're growing. This process takes months to come to fruition. But imagine if you put off the hard work until the end of August -- it would yield a disastrous harvest.
2. Once you get started, inertia will do the rest.
Picture a field in the dead of winter, frosted over and incapable of producing plant life. It can take several weeks of warm weather to thaw the soil to where planting can take place.
In the same way, getting started with estate planning is actually the largest hurdle you will face! This is good news: once you engage with the process, you will pick up momentum automatically, and planning will begin to seem effortless.
(What's true for human psychology is true for nature as well. In thermodynamics, there's a peculiar concept called "heat of enthalpy." This is the amount of heat required to start a phase change -- e.g. to melt ice into water -- before you can raise an object's temperature. In other words, the kind of inertia you may be feeling is built into the very laws of physics!)
3. There are fewer moving parts than you think.
Gudorf’s Client-Centered 7 Step Process streamlines estate planning by moving clients seamlessly from a complimentary 90-minute educational workshop through consultations, planning sessions, implementation, training workshops and review meetings. Our years of experience result in a simplified and uncomplicated experience for our Ohio farmer clients.
4. Great people make the process less complex.
Like most concepts in life, estate planning seems difficult to the uninitiated. The same is true of many tasks that probably seem second nature to a farmer. You might remember the first time you tried to milk a cow years ago; you likely did not do so with ease and grace!
Like a seasoned farmer, a qualified estate attorney with experience in the agricultural industry can help you carry out what may seem like incredibly complex tasks with simplicity and skill.
Although planning for the future of your family and business may seem overwhelming, Gudorf Law Group provides knowledge and experience you can trust. For more information, or to schedule your free 60-minute consultation, contact us today at 877-483-6730.
What plans do you have in place for the future of your farm?