Legacy planning can keep a farm in the family

A financial representative says planning can help keep a farm in the family. A medical calamity in an older farmer might disrupt what could otherwise be a smooth transition of a farm to a younger family member, said Bill Corcoran with COUNTRY Financial.

“We see that not only as a consequence of just poor planning financially, but we also see long-term care, disability, things like that that have such a huge impact on a family, can all of sudden put the farm at risk,” said Corcoran, interviewed by Brownfield at the Central Minnesota Farm Show in St. Cloud.

Extended nursing care or other unforeseen expenses can make it impossible to pass the farm to the next generation, said Corcoran.

“Just a little bit of planning early on in years, in their 50s, could have easily saved the farm,” said Corcoran, “and would have really made sure that the legacy stays in the family.”

Even if a transitional plan is not the one all parties had wished for, Corcoran said, it’s best that a family begin talking about such a plan. “It’s better to know what their plan is than not have a plan at all,” he said. “The worst thing we can do is just kind of bury our heads in the sand and just keep working and not have a plan and not understand what that path looks like.”

Having a legacy plan in place provides a farm family with peace of mind, according to Corcoran, who is based in Minnesota with COUNTRY Financial. “Life looks a lot better,” said Corcoran, “there’s a lot more hope when you at least know what’s ahead.”

AUDIO: Bill Corcoran

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