FARMERS, RANCHERS & FORESTERS
Are You Ready to Protect Your Farm, Ranch or Forest Land?
If you’re ready, we are uniquely positioned to help you. We have deep roots in agriculture.
We know the risks our clients in agriculture assume–weather, commodity pricing, the impact of government policies, as well as the impact of income and capital gains taxes a huge impact on their livelihood. We also know that farming, ranching and growing timber is much more than a means of livelihood–it is a way of life. For many of our clients, land represents a legacy that has been carefully assembled and nurtured over several generations. We know that preserving agriculture as a viable lifestyle option for younger generations is something that is important to our clients. These are factors that are entirely beyond our clients’ control.
We have developed a unique Three Step Process that makes certain our farm clients get the protection that uniquely fits them. We know how important it is to make certain the planning work we do does not jeopardize the governmental benefits provided by a variety of programs offered by the Farm Service Agency and the NRCS.
We don’t offer solutions until we know you and know what is unique about you. When we do, the solutions we often provide to our clients in agriculture are:
The King Ranch Story
A core premise of our thinking is this: Land that is divided and distributed will be wasted; Land that is aggregated and managed will be preserved and inevitably grow in value over time. The wisdom of this core premise has proven true over and over again. Our clients do not want what they have struggled to build to be dissipated. They want it preserved and protected. One of the best and more famous examples of how land can be preserved productively over time is the example provided by the Kleberg family in Texas.
In 1914, rather than planning to divide their ranch among their heirs, they chose instead to organize the ranch into a corporate form. By doing so they were able to pass stock in their corporation to heirs while preserving the ranching operation as one entity. This decision is why the King Ranch continues today, over 100 years later, as a viable business enterprise. Its quite an interesting story:
There are even better strategies available today that can empower clients to preserve their valuable legacy and protect it from divorce and frivolous lawsuits as well as the inexperience and lack of skill of younger heirs. With the proper structures in place, farm, ranch and timber land can be well protected and well-managed over time and provide a solid foundation of financial security for future generations.
Good Planning Should Not Jeopardize Farm Program Payments
We understand that from many of our farm clients, farm program payments mean the difference between making money and losing money.
The benefit of these programs extend beyond program payments to include things like crop insurance. It is critical that estate planning and asset protection planning not conflict with the requirements to qualify for farm program benefits. While we do not practice agricultural law, we work closely with our colleagues in the agricultural law community in Arkansas to make certain the planning we implement is fully coordinated with the structures that maximize farm program payments and other program benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Fair Does Not Always Mean Equal
Fairness in the Transition of Ownership is the Most Difficult Challenge.
We know that not every family member will choose agriculture as a career. The unique challenge our agriculture clients face is the desire to put planning in place that is fair to the family members who are active in the farming operation and also fair to those who choose other careers. We understand the dilemma and have developed and successfully implemented a variety of strategies that have helped our clients resolve this challenge in a satisfying and understandable way.
Leadership in Agricultural Law
Staying current on issues relevant to our agricultural clients is critical to the value we add to clients. One of our principals, Stan Miller, serves as the current national chairperson of the Agricultural Law Forum of WealthCounsel.
Mr. Miller is also an active member of the American Agricultural Law Association.