Specifically for Farm Families

For owners of a family farm, the farm is much more than just a piece of property. It represents a life’s work, and often a legacy handed down from previous generations. It’s also a business, and like all family businesses, careful planning is needed to ensure its survival from one generation to the next.

For most farm families, the farm is their biggest asset. There are often multiple heirs, some of whom may want to continue the farm business, and others who have no interest in it. How do you make sure everyone is treated fairly and that those heirs who want to continue farming can do so? And, of course, there are different considerations if no one in the next generation wants to remain on (or return to) the farm.

In short, there are a lot of moving parts to planning for the future of a family farm. Most farmers don’t have the luxury of a lot of free time to think about it. Unfortunately, that means they often put off planning, which can lead to situations where decisions have to be made quickly under less-than-ideal circumstances.

At Legacy Legal, we understand the unique planning challenges farm families face. Many of our team members grew up in small rural communities across the Midwest and uniquely understand that land is where a farm family’s legacy is rooted. We have decades of experience tackling complex issues like taxes, on-farm and off-farm heirs, succession planning, and keeping it all together. Our founding member, Brooke Didier Starks, is a frequent lecturer for ag panels and lenders and has spoken frequently for entities such as Illinois Soy and Farm Credit Illinois. You do not need to know the answers before we sit down. Our years of expertise means we have tools in the tool box you may not even know you need yet. Just bring your questions and an open mind.

Challenges of Planning for a Family Farm

Few people understand the importance of planning ahead like a farmer. After all, planning ahead from one season to the next is essential to the success of a farm business. Longer term planning can be more complex, and even more important. Legacy Legal will help you identify your concerns and come up with a plan that will address them.

Some of the many questions you might have include:

  • What if some of my kids want to keep working the farm, but some don’t? How do I equalize their inheritance?
  • How can I make sure my successor is prepared to take over the farm business?
  • Will my heirs have to sell farm assets (or the farm itself) to pay taxes after my death?
  • How can I protect the farm from creditors and lawsuits?
  • Does the farm have to go through probate after I die? How will that affect operations?
  • How can I prevent arguments among my heirs over the farm and my estate?
  • How do I differentiate between what is fair and what is equal?

The team at Legacy Legal has helped many farm families with these and other questions. The answer to your concerns may be waiting in our office.

Educate. Equip. Empower.

You wouldn’t dream of running your farm without the right tools. You need the right tools to plan for the future of your farm, too. At Legacy Legal, we help you understand the risks farming families face and the tools available to secure the future of your family and your farm.

You can’t make good choices unless you know what options you have. We begin by listening to your needs and educating you about the planning process. Then we move on to equipping you with an estate plan designed to meet your family’s unique needs. Every family and every farm is different; it’s important to have a plan that is customized for yours. Lastly, we empower you to put that plan into action. You will know what each part of your plan does, how it interacts with the other parts, and what to do if and when your needs change.

Our team knows farm planning, but no one knows your farm and your family like you do. Together, we can plan for your family’s security down the road, and peace of mind right now. To learn more about our planning services for family farms, please review our Frequently Asked Questions or contact Legacy Legal to schedule a consultation.