Farm estate planning workshop planned for Nov. 30

Published 12:05 am Saturday, October 29, 2022

By Amy-Lynn Albertson
N.C. Cooperative Extension

It’s never too early to start planning for the future of your family farm. No matter the size of your operation, if your goal is to keep the farm in the family for future generations or to keep it in agriculture, it is crucial to plan the transition. Cooperative Extension is hosting a free farm estate and succession planning workshop on Wednesday, Nov. 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the Rowan County Extension Center, 2727 Old Concord Road in Salisbury. Dr. Andrew Branan from N.C. State University will speak on how to transition your land and how estate taxes may impact your family. A business succession plan will help you transition your farm to the next generation.

It’s good to have family discussions now because sometimes fair doesn’t always mean equal, especially when you may have non-farming heirs. Many factors go into deciding how to split assets among your heirs. In some scenarios, farm assets like land, equipment and livestock are given to the farming heirs. In contrast, non-farm assets like retirement accounts, savings and investments and life insurance benefits are left to those not on the farm. The best way to transfer a family farm varies from family to family. That’s why the first step of an effective farm succession plan is to define your goals by prioritizing your needs; after all, these are your assets. Then, you can incorporate the needs of future generations who will also benefit from your succession plan. Most importantly, your goals should factor in your needs in retirement and as you age. In passing the family farm to the next generation, you may start letting your heirs manage the land, purchase farm equipment and take on more responsibilities. You might need income from assets like cell towers, billboards, natural gas and rental properties to support your lifestyle in your retirement years. If these revenue streams are essential to your retirement plan, don’t feel pressured to release them within your lifetime.

As you map out your succession plan goals, consider what’s important. If your home has significant meaning to you and your family, you may want to keep it in the family. Likewise, there may be specific charities you’d like to donate assets to, or you might stipulate how the land you’re passing on should be used. Ultimately, you must determine what you want for your legacy.

Go to to register or call 704-216-8970. Please register early as space is limited.

Amy-Lynn Albertson is the director of the Rowan County Extension.

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