Each year in Illinois, farmers have to sell acreage and business owners have to sell company assets because a disability or a death occurs. A farm or family business should not be at risk of being lost- it should be your legacy. You need to take steps to protect what you have build, and Hedeker Law can help.
Our legal team assists farm and business owners with companies and farms of different types, from startups and small farms to large industrial farm operations and successful established organizations. We understand the risks that your farm or family business face and we help you to ensure you have protected what you’ve created. Give us a call at 847-913-5415 to get personalized advice on protecting your farm or company and to get answers to questions including:
- What are some risks to your farm or business?
- How can you protect your company or farm?
- How can a Lincolnshire farm and family business lawyer help you?
What are Some Risks to Your Farm or Business?
One of the biggest threats to the continued success of a farm or a business is the death of the current owner. Not only can your death result in a period where your farm or company is not managed properly, but the assessment of estate taxes can also be a major problem. In fact, when arguing for estate tax repeal, the plight of farmers and small business owners is often the primary argument put forth.
The issue: farmers and business owners who don’t have a lot of liquid cash but who have a lot of “wealth” in the form of valuable land or company assets. The government sees your farmland that has been in your family for generations as an asset that they can tax, and sometimes this means that farmland actually has to be sold to pay estate taxes. The same is true for business owners in situations where important company assets- or even the company itself- have to be sold in order to satisfy the tax bill.
These risks fall upon your family members when you pass away, but there are things that you must do during your lifetime if you wish to help ensure that a farm or a family business is not lost because of estate taxes or mismanagement.
You also need to think about other potential pitfalls that could occur during your life or after your death. For example, it is important to make plans to get long-term care costs paid for so you don’t have to sell a farm or family business to pay nursing home bills that can total more than $100,000 annually. You may also wish to think about whether your heirs are at risk of bankruptcy, divorce or creditor claims once the farm or business transfer to them.
How Can You Protect Your Company or Farm?
You can protect your farm or your family business during your lifetime by creating an incapacity plan and by making a plan for nursing home care to be paid for. You also need to make plans for how to protect your company or farm when you pass away. These plans should be focused on a timely transfer of farmland or company ownership, as well as making sure that estate taxes don’t undermine the value of the farm or family business.
There are a wide variety of legal documents that may be a part of your plan, and many different legal tools that can be used to provide the desired protections for your company or land. For example, some of the steps you may need to take to protect the farm or business can include:
- Obtaining sufficient insurance: You want enough liability insurance during your life that if you get sued, the insurer will pay and no one will need to come after the farm or family business to satisfy a judgement.
- Creating a power of attorney: This makes it possible for you to determine who should be the person that takes over managing the farm and other assets in the event that something happens to you
- Creating trusts: Different kinds of trusts can do things like keep a farm or business beyond the reach of your heirs’ creditors; as well as helping to reduce estate taxes and ensuring you don’t have to spend your assets to get nursing home care.
These are just a few of the different things that a Lincolnshire family farm and business lawyer can help you to explore in order to keep your company and land safe.
How Can a Lincolnshire Farm and Family Business Lawyer Help You?
Hedeker Law has helped many farm and family business owners in Lincolnshire and surrounding areas throughout Chicago to protect their farmland or the businesses they are building. Give us a call at 847-913-5415 or contact us online to discover more about the ways in which we can help you to protect the legacy you’ve worked so hard to build during your life.