Ohio’s farmers provide food for the community and contribute to the economy. In addition to ensuring their personal assets are distributed to their beneficiaries in an estate plan, they may need to transfer assets to ensure their farm is managed after their passing.
Estate planning overview
Before you create an estate plan, you may want to list all of your assets, which includes your personal property, bank accounts, insurance policies and farm-related items. Farm assets may include land, equipment, crops and livestock. You will also want to list any debts, like your mortgage.
You can choose to create a will or a trust. A will outlines how your assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries after your death and it will be managed by an executor. If you have a larger or more complex estate, you may want to consider creating a trust. A trust can avoid the probate process, which means it may be more private and it may be faster.
You can also create a power of attorney for finances and a healthcare directive. These documents allow a trusted person to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to, usually due to illness or incapacity.
Considerations for farmers
In your will or trust, you may decide to designate who will take over the farm and what your intentions are for the farm after your passing. This may include your wishes for the farm’s business structure, meaning whether it is held as a sole proprietorship, a partnership or other arrangement.
It’s also a good time to confirm that your farm has enough insurance.