Mount Olive College’s Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center is offering seminars on succession planning for farmers and small businesses in the coming weeks at various locations around the state. Andrew Branan, with Brannan Law Firm is taking part in these seminars focusing on succession of agribusiness operations.
Brannan explains that with the estate tax situation somewhat permanently resolved by congress early this year, it’s time to focus on succession of assets instead of simply keeping property away from the tax man for a couple of reasons:
“One is for farmers and rural land owners to protect themselves against the inflexibility of real property common law. If advanced decisions aren’t made about how the assets will be distributed according to what the owner wants to be done with them, then the law that has been around for a long time is fairly inflexible.”
Branan explains that making specific distributions isn’t enough, there needs to also be reasons for those decisions stated:
“The second message that I tell them is to be clear about what your reasons are for wanting to make your distribution decisions. Whether you make them while you are alive by selling or giving away property or how you lay them down in your estate plan. In doing that you are avoiding creating co-tendencies in property.”
Branan says that if a producer’s wishes are for their land to stay in production, pre-planning is essential:
“If you want to keep peace in your family and keep good management of farm resources, avoid at all costs creating default co-tendencies where say your three children will inherit acres to share.”
The next Planning the Future of Your Farm-Farm Transition Regional Event will be in Robeson County on February 20th. For more information or to register visit our calendar.