Products & Services

Estate Planning

Creating certainty for your family

Planning for the future doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating. By working with a Farm Credit consultant, your family can build a plan that will provide peace of mind. No matter what happens, you can be assured that your loved ones will be taken care of.

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Why estate planning is important

  • Ensures that your assets will be used to benefit the people you choose.
  • Protects your family from difficult, costly or even heartbreaking outcomes.
  • Can ensure a comfortable retirement for you and your spouse.
  • Lays the groundwork for the next generation to take the reins.
  • Provides certainty for your farm and, more importantly, for your family.

How Farm Credit East can help

  • Sort out sensitive issues: Any business or estate plan involves many factors: finances, insurance, legal documents and personal feelings. Our consultants are skilled at asking the hard questions to move the process along and put each interested party at ease.
  • Stay on track: Businesses are dynamic and evolve year by year: Estate tax laws change; People get married, divorced or become disabled; Babies are born; Children return to the farm. We will review your plan with you annually to help keep your plan on track.

Family business transfers

We will work with you to make an honest assessment of what you will need in retirement with a safe margin, so you don’t sell your retirement years short.

  • Develop a successor through Farm Credit East's GenerationNext training program.
  • Continuity of the business is a key aspect of every plan.
  • Define each family member’s personal responsibility. This gives each member a stake in the future of the business and an understanding of their role in the planning process.

Watch this short video on the benefits of working with Farm Credit East on the transition of your family business.


Interested in more information on estate planning?

Click below to contact a Farm Credit East business consultant with more information on estate planning from Farm Credit East.

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  • Blog
  • Generation Next Seminars

    GenerationNext is a seminar series, hosted by Farm Credit East, designed to advance the management skills and business knowledge of the next generation of farm operators. Each seminar includes group discussions, idea sharing and networking opportunities. If you're interested in attending an upcoming seminar, click below.

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  • Appraisals

    Know your worth with an appraisal from Farm Credit East. We’ll value your real estate, personal property and heavy machinery to prepare you for when it’s time to sell, donate or transfer what you own.

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  • When should I begin estate planning?
    The sooner a family initiates the process, the easier it is. Beginning early allows you the time to accumulate the dollars required for the senior generation’s retirement without harming the future of the business. Ideally, you want to begin planning when you are around 55 years old and your children are in their 20s. This gives you a 10-year window to transfer assets and management. At 65, you will be easing into retirement and your children, at 35, will have gained the skills to manage the operation. We encourage people to take a leisurely approach to estate planning.
  • How does a consultant work with our family on estate planning?
    A Farm Credit East consultant creates an environment of mutual expectations so your estate plan will be successful. We ensure that each player has a chance to help the owner make choices about what he or she wants to implement. We organize consistent meetings and check in to see that each participant accomplishes their specific responsibilities so as to be sure that the plan is implemented as expected. Managing consistent meetings on a timely basis and ensuring that we arrive at clear conclusions offers tremendous value in moving the process forward.
  • Does transferring a business to the next generation also mean the transfer of control?
    The transfer of equity doesn’t necessarily mean the transfer of control. Our consultants will discuss many options with you so equity can be moved to the next generation without the senior generation giving up control in the business.
  • Who should do estate planning?
    Estate planning is essential for all business owners. We help families with various levels of net worth create an estate plan so they can leave assets to the next generation. By working with a Farm Credit East consultant, you will develop a plan that ensures that the senior generation has a comfortable retirement by first determining a realistic view of their retirement needs, including the cost of health care and how nursing home care will be paid.
View From The Field
"Our estate plan wouldn’t have gotten done without Farm Credit East."
How Do You Create a Fair Estate Plan for the Whole Family?

Keith and Monika Mann know well the complexities of estate planning, particularly with a large family. “Running a business with family is difficult, because you have siblings who are not involved but need to be treated fairly,” said Keith. “Also, my father, who developed the farm in his lifetime, wants to ensure that it stays in the bloodline. And my wife, who committed her married life to this farm, wants to be protected. That’s a lot of juggling.” The Manns wanted to create future plans for their two businesses that were equitable; but with so many stakeholders, the challenge was daunting

How we helped

The Mann family found an independent voice, as well as a wealth of knowledge regarding estate planning, in Farm Credit East consultant Jon Jaffe. “Jon helped us get to the bottom of issues, come up with a plan and ensured that the plan was followed. You need all three of those components for an estate plan to succeed,” said Keith.

Jon helped the Mann family navigate through the personal process of estate planning by drawing on his years of professional experience with ag businesses. “Our estate plan wouldn’t have gotten done without him,” admitted Keith. “I feel good knowing that a professional agrees that this is a fair plan.”

I’m running the farm, but my family wants to know how I'll protect them. Farm Credit East helped me do that. With estate planning, it's nice to have an outside professional in the room when a family member asks the tough questions, Farm Credit East provides an independent voice that helps us come up with a plan that is fair.
-Keith and Monika Mann
Mann Farms, Inc.
Buzzards Bay, Mass.