Family Farm Estate Planning in Ohio: 10 Reasons Why You Need to Do It
November 30th, 2011
Family farms and estate planning in Ohio was a pretty hot topic at a recent Ohio Farm Bureau meeting that I spoke at. About 125 farmers from across the state showed up to hear me and the other speakers.
One thing that struck me was that most of the farmers I spoke to said they’d never met an attorney who could explain why they should do estate planning and elder law planning. In this post I want to solve that issue and explain plainly why estate planning and elder law planning is necessary for farmers.
A related question farmers often ask me is: “What is succession planning as it relates to family farms and why do I need to do it?” In brief, family farm succession planning clarifies who is to gain control of your farm when you retire, become unable to run it, or die and protects it against taxes, debts, lawsuits, nursing home costs, and family disputes.
10 Reasons for Family Farm Estate Planning in Ohio
Below are 10 good reasons for family farm succession planning, elder law planning, and family farm estate planning in Ohio.
If you have not planned appropriately for the future of your farm and estate . . .
- Your estate will go to probate and cost more in probate fees and legal fees
- You’ll pay more in estate tax and other taxes
- If you end up in a nursing home paid for by Medicaid, the state can force the sale of your farm to reimburse Medicaid
- If you end up in a nursing home and pay those costs yourself, you may be forced to sell your farm to fund those costs
- Your Last Will and Testament may be contested and your estate distributed to someone you did not intend to receive it
- If you don’t have a will, your estate will be distributed according to Ohio law and may go to someone you did not intend to receive it
- Unmarried domestic partners and other heirs outside the traditional family structure are unlikely to receive a portion of your estate
- Distribution of your farm and estate may be unfair to some heirs, especially those who are not interested in farming
- Arguments and even lawsuits may arise between heirs who can’t agree on how the farm should be run
- Your farm will be vulnerable to creditors and lawsuits during your lifetime and even after the farm has passed to your heirs
Hopefully this article has given you some clear reasons why it’s critical to do family farm succession planning and family farm estate planning in Ohio. However, if you still have questions about what succession planning is or about any other aspect of estate and elder law planning – or if you want to get started on your planning – please give our office a call and schedule an appointment. Your initial consultation regarding family farm estate planning in Ohio is always free.
Call toll free today: 1-877-483-6730