It is not a particularly easy time to be a family farmer in the U.S. Farmers face competition from agricultural imports from all over the world, which leads to lower prices for their products. That is expected to get worse in the coming years.
Even in the best of times, farming is not an easy occupation. It requires long hours of intense labor, despite the many technological advances of the last 100 years.
Farming is also expensive. Land is expensive. Seed is expensive. Equipment is also expensive.
To top it all off, farmers can be ruined by all kinds of bad weather.
It is no wonder that many children of farmers do not want to go into the industry.
That creates problems for farmers who would like to see their operations continue after they pass away, but would also like to make sure their children receive a just inheritance as Iowa Farmer Today discussed in "Good fences make good neighbors."
Farmers need to decide how they should leave an inheritance for their non-farming children. It is a difficult decision whether to leave children the land and equipment or to sell everything off and leave the children the proceeds.
The key to making the decision might be asking the children what they prefer.
Of course, if everyone is uncertain, the children can always sell things off after they inherit, if that is what they want to do.
One thing is certain about farmers: they need estate plans to make sure they handle things in the best way for their families.
Reference: Iowa Farmer Today (April 14, 2017) "Good fences make good neighbors."