Farm succession planning – using trusts to protect their inheritance

Testamentary discretionary trusts are powerful tools, and can provide beneficiaries with a plethora of options to efficiently manage their inheritance. Asset protection Receiving an inheritance via a discretionary trust allows beneficiaries to manage their inheritance separately from their personal family wealth. This can assist beneficiaries who might be considered ‘at risk’ individuals, being people who…

Farm succession planning – who is to receive your wealth

The third and fourth of the four key estate and farm succession planning questions – who is to receive your wealth, and how should they receive it. Farming families often wish to leave their estates to their spouse, and then divide it equally amongst children when both parents have died. Challenges arise where one child…

Farm succession planning – what do I control?

The second of the four key questions – what do I control? Many farms own land and other assets in trusts for succession planning efficiency, asset protection, or tax minimisation purposes. In a trust structure, the trust owns assets which remain in the trust after death or retirement. Control of the trust usually equates to…

Farm succession planning: The first of the four key questions – what do I own?

The starting point for farm estate planning is to determine:- whether assets are owned solely or jointly, whether land is owned as joint tenants or tenants in common, and whether assets are controlled via trusts rather than owned. Sole or joint ownership? For most assets (shares, bank accounts, chattels – but not land), joint ownership usually…

Estate planning for farms – avoiding disputes

In our third and final article in our series of information for farm businesses, we take a look at four common causes of estate disputes and suggest some strategies to avoid conflict. #1 – Undocumented and unfulfilled promises: ‘All this will be yours if you stay’ or ‘I’ll look after you later, but we can’t…

Wills and Estate Planning for farmers – Part 2

Last week, we wrote about what can go wrong without careful estate planning. This week, we go into details on trusts and transfer of assets, and how to get started. Building your team It is important to work with a team of professional advisers. Estate planning should involve taking advice from a lawyer and accountant,…

Time to have the conversation – Wills and Estate Planning for Farmers

We know you put a lot of hard work into running and maintaining your farm – and we know that farms are often made up of a combination of valuable assets including land, equipment, commercial relationships and highly specialised knowledge, accumulated carefully and strategically over many years and across several generations. Over the next three…