Farming and ranching are the backbones of this country. Without these industries, people would have no food to eat and the economy would suffer. This is why it is so important to keep family farms and ranches running and pass them from generation to generation in Pennsylvania. However, some trends show that this is not happening.
Newer generations do not want to farm or if they do, they run into obstacles. One of the biggest is affording to keep the farm running. This is where estate planning comes in. It is quite possible to help future generations through a carefully thought out and executed estate plan.
Have an heir
It goes without saying that ensuring you have an heir who wants to continue the family business is essential as you begin estate planning. NPR explains that you need a solid estate plan in place for who will take over so you can prepare them to handle the demands of running the operation.
Not having an heir who wants to run the farm often leads to the selling off and breaking up of property for development. This takes away precious farmland and ruins the chances of anyone ever being able to restart the business.
Know the details
You also have to focus in on the details of your heir taking over. This is especially true if you have multiple heirs. You want to be sure you lay out how the farm will run, who will be in charge of what and how they will make decisions. Do not leave it up to your heirs to decide.
You also want to be sure you designate someone who will properly take care of taxes so that your estate will handle the costs and not leave your heirs in a money crunch. Starting out in the negative can make things rough, and you want to do everything possible to ensure the transition is smooth.
After you are gone, you can make sure the family farm or ranch lives on, but it takes good planning before you go.