Estate planning is one part of a farm family’s’ finances that often gets overlooked.
In fact, research has shown that approximately 60% of American farmers do not have an estate plan in place. Not taking the proper steps in planning for your farm could become financially devastating for your surviving family down the road. You need to at least have the basics in place should something unforeseen happen to you down the road.
Importance of Basic Estate Planning
All adults should have a basic estate plan in place, regardless of whether they own a farm or not. Ensuring that you are leaving your family financially stable should be a top priority for all of us, but unfortunately that is not always the case.
To this point, there are more than 60% of Americans that do not have a will in place. Even our country’s richest superstars often overlook a will. Take the late musician, Prince, as an example. He passed away without a will, causing extreme turmoil within his family in regards to his estate. All Prince needed was a basic estate plan in place prior to his death and things would have gone a lot smoother after his death. So instead of following the trend, consider taking a financial step for your farm family by creating a farm legacy plan for the future.
Basic Estate Documents to Consider
When we reference basic estate planning, the following financial documents are extremely important for your farm, spouse and children:
- Living Will
- Health Care Directive
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Guardianship Paperwork - Who will become guardian and ensure that any minor’s financial assets are protected.
- Power of Attorney in the name of your farm business - This allows decisions to be made if you as the owner were to become incapacitated.
While this may look like a lot to cover, with the help of a trusting financial planner like Dunncreek Advisors, creating a basic estate document for your family farm can become quite simple. Just a few hundred dollars now can make for a lot more financial protection and freedom down the road for your surviving farm family.
Don’t find yourself in the 60% of Americans that do not have an estate plan in place! Instead, make 2017 the year where you ensure your farm and family are protected!
If this blog has got you thinking about your own situation, get in touch with my office (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am always happy to visit with folks working on their transition process.
The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.