Unexpected Setbacks That Can Undermine Your Ohio Farm Estate Planning

Ohio farmers understand that they must plan for a variety of contingencies to protect crops, keep animals healthy and clean, and maintain business operations, day-to-day. Setbacks are just part of the game. A crop may fail for unexpected reasons, such as an imported bight or just bad weather. Or a disaffected employee can break farm equipment. Or your child, whom you’ve trained for years to take over some aspects of the farming business, may suddenly decide that she wants to go to law school and move to New York, instead.

The best way to deal with setbacks is to prepare aggressively. As President Dwight Eisenhower famously said, “I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Planning is not about the plan, in and of itself, but rather about the act of preparing to react intelligently to the spontaneous and novel situations that inevitably emerge as the plan moves forward.

In the same way, an effective estate plan can help you react effectively to surprises that emerge as you grow your farm, plan your retirement and pass the torch to the next generation.

Over the next few blog posts, we are going to explore common setbacks that you could encounter and discuss how you could respond to such bad news in a strategic fashion.

Here are some examples:

  • Your successor decides that he or she does not want to take over the farm, or you realize that he or she simply cannot handle certain critical responsibilities of farm management.

  • You get injured or sick well before you want to retire, but you’re not organized enough to easily handle off farm responsibilities to someone else.

  • A fire, draught, or some other act of God destroys your crops, harms your livestock or degrades the infrastructure of your farm, like your barns, your silos, your machinery, etc.

  • A worker or visitor to your farm gets injured and files a lawsuit again you personally or against the farm, winning assets that you had planned to use for succession.

  • A business decision or investment that you make somehow backfires and leaves your farm in an awkward or even financial dangerous position.

For help with your Ohio estate planning process, contact the team here at Gudorf Law Group immediately to schedule a free, thorough, and confidential consultation with our team. Call us at 1-877-483-6730. Let us help you protect your assets and your future and regain peace of mind.