A family-owned business or farm can provide you with a wonderful income earned with your own hard work and your own two hands. You can pass your farm or family business down to your children or other loved ones to secure their legacy, and you can ensure that your company or farm is able to survive long beyond your years. If you wish to protect your farm or business so it survives for many generations, you need to get proper legal advice.
Frank & Kraft provides advice and representation to owners of farms and owners of family businesses. The legal services we provide are customized to address the risks that business and farm owners face and to provide strong protections for the future of your company or farm. Contact us today at (317) 684-1100 to find out about the customized services we can offer that are specific to your situation and to get answers to questions including:
- What should farm & business owners do to protect their business & land?
- Why should farm & business owners get legal advice?
- How can an attorney help owners of farms and family businesses?
What Should Farm & Business Owners Do to Protect Their Business & Land?
Your business and your land are vulnerable for lots of reasons. You need to address the issues that could arise during your life, as well as after your death. For example, your company or land could be at risk if:
- You have to go into a nursing home. Private insurance and Medicare don’t pay except for skilled nursing home care, while most people need custodial care. Medicaid will cover the bills, but only after you have spent down your own assets to you qualify for this needs-based benefit. You must make sure you don’t have to sell farmland or business assets just to pay your nursing home bills.
- Your heirs are not responsible with money. You want to leave your farm or business to the next generation. Unfortunately, they may not be ready to assume the responsibility. You can leave money and property in a trust, to be managed by a chosen trustee, if you want to provide a financial benefit to your heirs without risking the loss of all you have built.
- You have problems with co-owners. If you own a business or have an interest in a farm with others, problems between co-owners could result in an interruption to operations that undermines the value of the assets. Buy/sell agreements can help to keep the company from falling into the wrong hands while you can use partnership agreements, employment contracts, and other written agreements to minimize disputes and address how they will be resolved.
- You become incapacitated. If you cannot manage your company or farmland, you need to make sure you have named someone else to take over immediately who is competent and who can protect the land or business value.
- Estate taxes are too high. If estate taxes are owed on your land or on the value of your business and assets, your heirs could end up being forced to sell property or company assets if they cannot afford to pay the IRS.
- Probate takes too long: If the probate process drags on, your company or land could lose value due to mismanagement or due to the company’s reputation taking a hit because of the confusion surrounding ownership.
These are just a few possible risks which your company or farm faces – and which you can address with careful advanced planning.
Why Should Farm & Business Owners Get Legal Advice?
You need to get legal advice so you can find out about the necessary tools to protect your company, your farm, and your other personal assets. There are steps you can take, from incorporation to the creation of trusts or power of attorney documents, which will allow you to protect what you have built. You can also reduce or avoid estate taxes and facilitate the effective transfer of farmland or company assets- if you make smart choices and create an advanced plan.
How can an Attorney Help Owners of Farms & Family Businesses?
Frank & Kraft has extensive experience helping the owners of farms and family businesses. Our legal professionals can offer you the assistance you need to ensure your company and your farm can be a legacy for the generations. Give us a call today at at (317) 684-1100 or contact us online to learn more.