What farmers need to know about estate planning

Many farm owners in Wisconsin want to preserve their farm so they can pass it down to the next generation. However, if they don’t keep their estate plan up-to-date, their immediate family might be facing a legal battle after they pass away. Here’s some common estate planning mistakes that farmers should avoid.

Common estate planning mistakes that farmers should watch out for

One of the biggest mistakes a farmer can make is writing one document and never touching it again. Estate planning isn’t something you do once: it’s something you do throughout your life to ensure that your last wishes are up-to-date. Farmers should periodically revise their estate plans to account for life changes like divorces, children or additional property.

Another common mistake is leaving their family behind without a cash flow. When they pass away, their family will likely need cash to pay medical bills, funeral costs and other expenses. Farmers should make sure they invest in health insurance and life insurance so their family can get assistance with paying their bills. Otherwise, they might end up selling off pieces of farm property.

Where can a farmer get assistance with estate planning?

The more assets you have, the harder it becomes to plan your estate. For this reason, many people put it off until it’s too late. Hiring an attorney can make it easier to write a will, choose someone for power of attorney, specify end-of-life care and make other important decisions.

An attorney might be able to help their client write legally-binding documents and point out potential issues that need to be addressed in their estate plan. They might also help their client consider unexpected situations like a child or spouse dying. Working with an attorney, a farmer might be able to preserve their legacy for future generations.