There are many people in Butler County and the rest of Southern Ohio who make their living in agriculture. Those who own farming acres and other agricultural property and equipment, like other average Ohioans, usually want to hand their fortunes to their loved ones after they are gone. As is the case with other family businesses, careful estate planning is an important step to making sure that the next generation can continue farming the land or, if they so wish, put the proceeds to another good use.
To some extent, farmers have the same basic estate planning needs as everyone else. They will need advanced medical directives and a financial power of attorney should they find themselves unable to make important decisions on their own. Farmers will also need to have a simple will in place as part of their estate plan.
Farmers also frequently have assets that will require a trust or other device
Although it might not always seem like it day to day, successful farmers will acquire a lot of assets. At the time of death or retirement, their farms can easily be worth over $1 million. A simple will alone may not be enough to avoid tax consequences and other special issues that can arise in larger estates.
Farmers may also have a number of goals which may not be easy to accomplish with just a simple estate plan. Those who want to see the farm continue to operate will have to think about business succession. Planning to transfer the farm so it can continue may involve some property transfers, planned gifting or forming a trust or family LLC.
Farmers who live or work in and around Hamilton should both fully understand and carefully choose their estate planning options.