Estate Planning, One Bite at a Time

Estate Planning, One Bite at a Time

Haylie Shipp
Haylie Shipp
With your Southeast Regional Ag News, I am Haylie Shipp. This is the Ag Information Network.

It’s a complicated endeavor…really complicated. But I think sometimes we only add to the static impeding upon the clear picture by going into the process knowing how hard it can be.

We’re talking estate planning today with Polly Dobbs, trust and estate attorney. Polly recommends that growers and farm families learn about the different options that trusts can offer and how to select the best trustee for your situation…

“There are so many different types of trusts and it’s not the farmer’s job to understand them all. It’s the farmer’s job to get the wheels turning as far as what feels like the right kind of plan for their family and their assets and then go find a lawyer.”

That lawyer can help work you through all the options of how a trust can add protection.

“Tax rules are always changing, so we use trusts to make sure that all of mom and dad’s very valuable farm assets don’t just hit the kids’ balance sheets directly making them too rich for estate tax purposes. So then the kids have to jump through hoops and do planning to try to reduce their taxable estate before the assets can get to the grandkids.”

And how do you find the right professionals?

“Start by seeking referrals from people you’re already doing business with and from other farmers in your region that you know are going through the same process.”

She says it could be your crop insurance agent, your accountant, or your agronomist. Just ask around.

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