Transfer tax, one attorney’s top concern for farmers


Transfer tax, one attorney’s top concern for farmers

An attorney specializing in farm succession planning says he’s most concerned about a potential transfer tax policy change proposed by the Biden administration.

Mike Fraleigh of Michigan-based Fraleigh Law tells Brownfield right now there is no transfer tax, but potential changes as proposed by American Family Plan could change that.

“Even if you have no estate taxes, taxes paid on death, Uncle Sam wants to tax the transfer of the property out of your estate, out of your estate by will, or by gift during your lifetime at 39.6 percent,” he says.

Fraleigh says the transfer tax would be on top of any estate taxes paid and some proposals also tax trusts every 21 years regardless if there is a transfer. 

While the Biden administration has made promises to protect family farms that remain in families, Fraleigh says a lot is still up in the air and unspecified.

“If your health is bad or you are advanced in age, you may want to consider implementing part of your succession plan or the asset transfer this year before the law goes into effect,” he recommends.

Fraleigh says his clients are very concerned about how tax proposals will impact the family farm and he’s working to best position them instead of taking a wait-and-see approach to possible policy changes.

Fraleigh was a featured speaker at the recent AgroExpo in St. Johns.