Estate planning and keeping a farm in the family

| March 12, 2019

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A farm is like any other business ― and not like any other business ― when it comes time to pass it on after an owner’s retirement or death. First and foremost, the largest asset, by and large, is land. While there is typically a ready market for real estate, many in the farming business are reluctant to break up a farm and sell property in parcels. The size of a farm, after all, has direct bearing on its money-making potential. “Most of a farm’s wealth is in ground and equipment — things you need to make it work and operate, so you don’t want to break it up,” said Brian Roberts, CEO of Synergy Wealth Solutions in Chesterfield, Missouri. “Beyond that, there is emotional attachment. A farm is part of your upbringing, your family. It’s something that you want to show your children. Most people are reluctant to let that go, too.” Indeed, there are over 2 million farms in the United States, and about 99 percent of them are family-owned .1. But the illiquidity of farms brings up two common problems: Covering any taxes or costs due when the owner dies.

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