A farm trust is an irrevocable trust created to provide farmland protection. A farm owner will establish this trust arrangement either during their lifetime or at death, rather than distributing the land outright to their heirs. A trust allocates the assets of the trust to the established trust beneficiaries.
If you are the owner of a local farm or farming business, an irrevocable farm trust can provide protection and peace of mind for you and your family.
Farm trusts are not much different from any other kind of trust, as far as legal documents, but they require specialized planning and oftentimes custom language. In either case, a trust document will be required.
It’s also possible to establish a trust through a will, but that’s generally inadvisable as everything would go through probate court, which is a very lengthy and often times a headache for clients, which could otherwise be avoided by utilizing a trust.
A farm trust can shield the land of local farms from problems that beneficiaries might have—such as:
When deciding your options for farmland protection, often the hardest part is figuring out what will work best for the family. In particular, a lot of families struggle with figuring out what is fair.
Oftentimes, one sibling is working the farm and the others are not, but parents don’t want to have to sell off pieces of the family farm to equalize inheritances. It’s not an insurmountable problem, but one that requires careful planning.
The best way to explore whether a farm trust makes sense is for us to have a conversation either in person, by phone, or video conference.
By the end of that conversation, we will know enough to lay out potential strategies and describe exactly how everything would work, what the process is the cost and the process.
We don’t charge for meetings or phone calls, and I’m happy to travel to a potential client’s location to meet in person.
The process usually takes about 2 months from start to finish to establish your plan.
We recently wrapped up planning for a couple with 2 children and a $4 million dollar estate.
Of their estate, $2 million was the family farm. Their son worked on the family farm, but their daughter did not.
We were able to split their assets in such a way to ensure the farm stays intact and in the family. The parents wanted to make certain that language for a cooling-off period was in the trust restricting the kids from selling the land for 5 years to ensure they didn’t make a hasty decision.
Additionally, there was also language for a right of first refusal to encourage selling to family before offering it to anyone else.
Together we were able to protect the farm from any outside problems the kids could get into, like bankruptcy or divorce. And, we will likely save the family over $60,000 by avoiding the time and expense of probate court.
We work with all types of people from a wide range of backgrounds, and we always provide personalized service to help you meet your goals. We want to ensure you are able to provide for yourself and the next generation.
Our lawyers will listen attentively to what is most important to you and design trust that fits within your budget. We believe that trust formation and estate planning should not be a massive headache for our clients.
We take pride in our services more than anything else. We understand that the formation of complex documents can be confusing, so let us handle the heavy lifting. We make sure everything runs smoothly from beginning to end
Sometimes, clients come in with false assumptions about their options. Our advice is always based on our many years of experience working with individuals just like yourself.
We do not charge for meetings or phone calls, which our clients love. We also do not run an hourly rate based on different estate planning needs. We work on flat fees and we do not add on extra hours to your bill because we believe your financial protection is what matters most.
We work one on one with all of our clients and encourage open and continuous communication to address anything that might come up. We have a reputation for being easy to talk to and work with. We always strive to find the best possible outcome for your situation, while also fulfilling our duties as an experienced legal representative.
Do you have a plan in place for what happens to your farmland assets when you pass away? Is there a way for your family to be permanently protected from creditors?
Do the people who will be responsible for taking care of any minor children know their roles and responsibilities during times of crisis?
Have you thought about how will you distribute assets after you pass away?
If not, it’s time to meet with an estate planning attorney. Our attorneys can help put together an estate plan that provides for your loved ones during times of crisis, or something you can bequeath to someone special.
For a free consultation please fill out our contact form. We do not charge for consultations and we would love to see how we can protect your estate today!