We came across a recent survey that showed that:
- Only 5% of farmers had received formal advice and information on succession and inheritance planning.
- The main source of that advice was from accountants (at 52%)
- Only 24% of that advice was from solicitors
Farms are an unusual asset and, in Ireland and indeed, Wexford, the connection farmers have with their parcels of land is a topic widely discussed. Farmers have a relationship with land that amounts to more than ownership: it is in their family and their townland, and it forms a part of their lives.
A farm is a home, a business and a way of life. It is, therefore, imperative that legal advice is sought to ensure that the farm is transferred correctly after the current owner is gone.
In some cases, this story can be one of frustration and burden; in others, of deep and sometimes unrequited love, where the next generation simply cannot see the charm. However, for all the romance of land, over the last number of years, there has been a steady move towards viewing farming as a business rather than a vocation.
Farm businesses are not just a numbers game: usually there are familial concerns, with spouses and sons or daughters working together on farms. Decisions made on the transfer of the business affect the family unit, down to residency and control of environment.
Both the transferor and transferee must be separately advised. This is absolutely necessary to ensure equal representation of both parties’ interests
A party making a will must be made fully aware that the legal rights’ share is always there. When a waiver of the legal rights’ share on succession is sought, separate legal advice is, again, crucial.
In summary, you must seek legal advice to ensure that whatever you want to happen to your farm after you’re gone, does in fact happen.
Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your circumstances.
Source: Law Society Gazette Dec 2015