With around 10% of all farmland changing hands in the next few years, farm succession planning is no longer optional, it’s essential.
The future of farmland ownership is set to look very differently in the next several years. A whopping 91.5 million acres of land are expected to transfer to new ownership in the United States before 2020, representing 10 percent of all farmland.1 This number does not even include the 57.1 million acres landowners have put — or plan to put — into wills. Planning for this massive transfer of wealth is essential when passing farmland on to the next generation.
Steve Bruere, President of Peoples Company, has co-authored a farm succession planning white paper with Teresa Opheim, Director of the Farm Transfer Program at Practical Farmers of Iowa to help individuals look at the future of their farmland and start planning.
Protect the legacy of your land by downloading “Your Farmland and the Future” today.
Is your farm succession plan in place? If the answer is no or you are unsure, our white paper “Your Farmland and The Future: Setting Goals, Taking Action” is a practical guide to help families in their succession planning efforts.
This robust, 39-page white paper takes a raw, often emotional look at succession planning. Articles feature interviews with estate planners, succession experts and farm families, with contributions from K-Coe Isom, Chris Soules, David Baker, Home State Bank and Gordon Fischer.
It also includes these essential Farm Succession Planning items:
While not a fun topic for anyone to discuss, farmland succession planning is not something to put off.
Farmland is oftentimes the primary financial asset for farmers, making farmland succession difficult to navigate. In some cases, farm equity is the default retirement plan for farmers. Farmers need the money they have invested in the farm, meaning simply giving it to the next generation is not an option. In other cases, financing for those wishing to buy the farm can be problematic in this time of high land values and tight credit markets.
Another favored option is gifting farmland to heirs. If there is not sufficient communication or a plan in place when multiple family members are involved, matters get complicated when the parties have differing goals. There are also numerous laws related to taxes, land transfers, incorporation, etc. that need to be understood. Without adequate succession planning, families cede control to attorneys, judges and receivers to settle family matters and determine what will happen with the assets after death.
You’ve had the the great fortune of calling a piece of land your own. Make sure the future of your farmland is exactly what you want it to be. Start your farm succession plan today.
1 USDA’s 2014 Tenure, Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) Survey.