Farms, families often suffer without estate planning


Farms, families often suffer without estate planning

An estate and succession planning expert says not developing a farm transition plan is often difficult for survivors and the farm operation. 

John Shoup with the Indiana Ag Law Foundation tells Brownfield families have been fractured after the death of a family member. “The relationships are fractured because of either maybe there was no plan or maybe people didn’t feel like they were included in the plan, and that’s an awfully difficult situation.”

Shoup says when they began educating farm families, they started with the basic wills, trusts, and power of attorney information but have expanded to help manage family dynamics. “How to initiate the conversation and make sure that extended family, all folks involved are kind of on the same page and know what to expect and certainly have input into that process as well.”

Shoup tells Brownfield the family conversation about what to do with the farm should start before the key family members meet with an attorney about an estate plan. “Attorneys are good at kind of doing what you tell them, at implementing your plan, but again, the purpose of our program is to start that process so you know that you have a plan that they can help you implement.”

The Indiana Ag Law Foundation and Indiana Farm Bureau host a series of free estate and succession planning webinars open to anyone.  The next session is July 21st.

Anyone can register for the next program at or through Tuesday, July 19. Attorneys participating are also approved for three CLE credits, one credit for each presentation.

John Shoup from Indiana Ag Law Foundation discusses their free estate and succession planning webinars with Brownfield’s Larry Lee