Planning for the transition of a farm or small agribusiness is no small challenge.

Ice Miller assists farm families and agriculture operations with all aspects of these transitions, including:

  • Estate planning.  Estate planning requires the identification and implementation of the client's individual desires while considering family, financial and tax issues. Farm families often need to consider their wealth transfer goals for family members both inside and outside of the daily farm operations. Our attorneys are experienced in innovative planning techniques that address these and other objectives with individual attention and sensitivity.  We use a variety of tools to help farm families and agribusiness operators achieve their estate planning and wealth transfer goals, including wills, trusts and other sophisticated instruments that may minimize tax impacts.  In the event of death, our attorneys guide farm families through the estate execution process in a manner that is respectful of the family and in preserving the goals of the family business.
  • Farm tax planning.  Farm income tax planning and management is also a necessary step in developing a farm business and succession plan.  Income tax planning and management involves being aware of tax alternatives and choosing the alternative that best meets the farm's business objectives.
  • Farm corporate formation and restructurings.  Farm businesses typically are organized as sole proprietorships.  In appropriate cases, a more complex form of business entity can address certain risks of sole ownership and also serve as an effective farm transfer tool.  Ice Miller works with farm operators to identify and put in place the form of business organization that best meets their goals and objectives (i.e., closely held corporations, limited liability corporations, limited liability partnerships, general partnership, among others).  Many factors are evaluated with the client, including tax consequences, costs of formation, complexity, limitations on liability, needs of outside investors, estate planning and transition issues, and other goals of the owners.

Ice Miller provides this comprehensive planning for farm operators, but also works closely with other service providers including accountants and tax advisers to successfully develop and execute an appropriate and unique plan for each farm business.


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