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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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F.A.Q.
  • 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 you 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
"When the transition was complete, we still wanted to be a family."

As Glenn and Emily’s son, Jon, came into the business, they began to consider their future and the future of the farm. Family dynamics were a large consideration. They had three children not involved in the business and wanted to be sure they had assets to leave to all of them. “When the transition was complete, we still wanted to be a family,” said Emily. So they engaged Farm Credit East consultant, John Lehr.

“In a transition process, you’re merging multiple personalities,” said Jon. “We kicked around a lot of ideas to figure out how everyone would benefit and John helped mediate, talking us through the process and offering sound advice.”

“As a dad, my biggest challenge was to realize Jon was a business partner,” continued Glenn. “I didn’t fully understand until I went through it. He’s still our son, but he’s now a partner too. I needed to be willing to let go of control.”


It was valuable to have a confidant and advisor who knew our finances, had been working with us for years and could give us an unbiased opinion.
-Glenn, Emily and Jon Beller
Beller Farms, LLC
Carthage, N.Y.