Father and son walking on farm

At Borakove Osman LLC, we have a special commitment to the farming community. Attorney Shayna W. Borakove is a proud member of a Missouri farm family. Beyond her understanding of the intricacies of managing a family farm, she has a deep respect and admiration for the dynamics of farm succession and the importance of farm continuation planning.

As a skilled lawyer, she frequently assists clients from South Central Wisconsin who want to ensure that their farm thrives and that their family legacy of farming continues. This content is designed to cover the various aspects of farm continuation that must be addressed if the transition is to go smoothly and be successful. 

Customization Is Key

No two farms and no two families are the same, so our lawyers listen very carefully to make sure we have a handle on the particulars of your situation. This is an essential part of our process since we will tailor your farm continuation plan to your specific needs. Having an attorney with firsthand knowledge of this area of estate planning is a bonus.

Farm Succession Planning

The idyllic vistas of Wisconsin farms represent more than features of scenic countryside, providing well over $100 billion to our state’s economy. More than that, these farms are a testament to generations of hard work, resilience, and dedication to the land. We know that for many farm owners, these properties represent a rich family legacy and we are dedicated to preserving that legacy by helping them plan for farm continuation.

Below are the steps involved in the farm succession process. We are well aware that although many of our clients are highly skilled farmers and business owners, they may not be familiar with the process of farm continuation planning with all of its legal and logistical implications. That is where our advice and guidance can be extremely helpful.

1. Valuating the Farm

The first step is to determine the current worth of the farm. This requires a thorough valuation not just of the land, but of other assets, such as livestock, equipment, structures, machinery, and any other farm-related resources. To ensure that the valuation process yields accurate results, it’s critical to employ a professional appraiser with experience in farm evaluations. 

2. Choosing Your Successor

Selecting who will take over the farm is typically an emotionally tinged decision. Most farm owners ready to engage in farm continuation are looking for someone they trust as well as someone who has the interest, aptitude, and determination to keep the farm thriving. While many hope to keep the farm within the family, unless the chosen successor has the necessary abilities, the farm will not preserve the family legacy.

3. Ensuring Smooth Transition

To guarantee that the farm will continue operating through the transitional period, it is almost always necessary for the successor to take over under the watchful eyes of the present owner, or someone close in command. Assuming the two parties work well together, such an arrangement will make for a smooth transition as the former owner advises about shortcuts and ways to handle events as they occur, and the successor pays close attention to learn the ropes. 

This transitional period, during which the new owner observes and participates in farm operations and financial transactions, listens to directions, and asks pertinent questions, is always time well-spent.

4. Assessing Innovations and Upgrades

Farming techniques are constantly evolving as new tools and equipment are invented and new methods are put to use. The period during which farm succession is contemplated and planned is an optimal time to discuss potential purchases, alterations in farming practices, or even diversifying the products the farm offers for sale.

5. Personnel Changes

Depending on the size and staff of the farm, the transitional period may also involve a certain number of retirements and/or new hires. New employees must be trained and familiarized with the farm’s practices and how they may be altered now under different management or due to newly adopted technologies.

How Borakove Osman Can Help With the Farm Continuation Planning

As noted, our law practice stands apart in the realm of farm succession planning. Beyond our familiarity with this branch of estate planning, we are sensitive to the emotional and cultural nuances of Wisconsin farms, and recognize the variations that make each farm unique. We are adept at tailoring our planning to suit your circumstances in terms of your farm operations, farm assets, and personnel.

We are available to discuss, answer questions about, and draft and execute all necessary documents relating to:

  • Land use 
  • Retirement 
  • Business succession
  • Management transfer
  • Liquidation of assets
  • Trusts, both revocable and irrevocable
  • Minimizing taxes

Nothing would please us more than to see your farm thrive in response to our actions or advice.

Contact Our Experienced Farm Continuation Planning Attorneys in Madison, WI

As you can see, farm continuation is a worthy pursuit, strengthening both family bonds and the bonds that tie your family to the land. The dedicated attorneys at Borakove Osman LLC are here to assist you in keeping your farm vibrant and your legacy alive. Contact us now to see how eager we are to leverage our legal prowess to help you succeed.

Borakove Osman, LLC is your trusted partner for estate planning in Wisconsin. Serving all of Wisconsin, including Madison and Dane County, we are dedicated to providing high-quality legal advice and representation to help you secure your family’s future.