For many Wisconsin families, the farm is not just a business but a legacy, a testament to hard work, tradition, and commitment. Passing down the family farm to the next generation involves thoughtful financial and legal planning to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. Borakove Osman LLC, as a Wisconsin law practice that specializes in business planning in general and farm continuation planning in particular, is intimately familiar with the intricacies of such transitions and equipped to guide you through each step of the process.
Understanding the Value of Your Farm Is Essential
Before a family farm can be passed down, its worth must be accurately assessed, not just in terms of market value, but in terms of underlying assets, such as land, equipment, livestock, and the brand and reputation of the farm itself.
In Wisconsin, agricultural land may have specific assessments based on use-value rather than market value, which can significantly affect estate planning strategies. Our team works with trusted appraisers to ensure a fair and fact-based valuation.
Division of Ownership Requires Special Care
Determining whether one or multiple heirs will take ownership of the farm is a critical decision that requires careful consideration of family dynamics and the interest and ability of individual family members in running the farm. In many cases, while one heir becomes actively involved in the farm, others pursue different careers. One individual has managerial or financial aptitudes while another is talented at hands-on supervision.
Our attorneys have the legal skills, diplomacy, and familiarity with farming to help resolve such complex situations. Possible solutions include establishing a family-limited partnership or establishing trusts to balance interests and arrange ownership transitions.
In the transfer of any family business, dividing assets equitably is crucial to preserving harmony. Some heirs may prefer a monetary equivalent or shares that provide income to the daily involvement in the farm or management responsibilities. We know how to structure agreements to ensure that your farm will keep running productively with the appropriate individual at the helm.
How Our Family Farm Attorneys Smooth the Way
We will customize all legal documents we draft, such as wills, trusts, and buy-sell agreements, so they align with your specific needs. For instance, by carefully crafting a buy-sell agreement that clearly states the terms of sale to co-owners or outside parties, we will help to prevent future conflicts or disputes. Trusts can also be an effective way to transfer assets while minimizing estate taxes and providing for minor children or family members with special needs.
We will also assist you in creating the business succession plan vital for a seamless transition. This plan will outline the operational aspects of the farm transfer, ensure the next generation is prepared to take over management and use proven strategies, such as gifting, trusts, and agricultural tax exemptions, to minimize federal and state taxes.
Estate Planning as Part of Farm Succession
If you are a farm owner in Wisconsin considering retirement or planning for a time when they might become unable to tend to the farm, now is the time to be proactive about estate planning. Proper planning ensures that your farm, which may have been in your family for generations, will continue to thrive under the stewardship of your heirs. With our expertise and personalized approach, we’ll ensure that your farm’s transition is handled with the care and precision it deserves.
Contact Our Experienced Family Farm Attorneys Today
Like you, our law team is committed to preserving the agricultural legacy of families throughout Wisconsin. As focused as we are on financial considerations that will affect your loved ones and your future, we are also tuned in to the emotional factors inherent in planning for farm succession. Contact us now for the legal services you need and the peace of mind you deserve.