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Traditional Method of Farm Succession Planning is Broken…. Here is How to Fix it.

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                                Part I-Reasons Plans Do Not Get Established.  (Authors’ Note :   This will be a several part series discussing why the current method of farm estate and succession planning is not working.   In this first part, we will discuss the current state of farm succession and estate planning and compare to where it was ten years ago)         After several years of the farm economy in the doldrums, that past 2 years have seen a reassurance leading to record land and machinery prices, as well as just about everything else. Prior to this, many farms were not even sure they would survive long enough to need a succession plan.   Now, we’ve returned to where we were around 2009, 2010, and 2011, when the size of farm estates grew greatly and made it very difficult, if not impossible, for farming heirs to buy out non farming heirs due to the large capital outlay.   With land and machinery at all times highs, the difficulty is even now more profound.              The

PREPARING YOUR FARM FOR TAX DOOMSDAY

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                                    It has begun.   Nervous clients, including farmers and others, have started calling with growing concern   about what can only be described as nightmarish changes to federal tax laws.   Changes being discussed are a extreme reduction of the current federal estate/gift tax exemption, elimination of step up in basis, elimination of Section 1031 like-kind-exchanges, as well as other drastic changes being proposed by the new administration.   Before delving into the subject matter in more detail, people should remember the immortal words of Yogi Berra when he said, “it’s like déjà vu all over again”, and look back on December 31, 2012.   When the clock was to strike midnight, we were not going to see Cinderella’s carriage turn back into a pumpkin, but the federal gift and estate tax exemption was to plummet   from $5.12 million per person all the way to $1 million   per person.   Prior to that, taxpayers had enjoyed the ability to pass up to $5.12 mill

LLC's Can Save Farms

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  4 types of LLCs that can benefit farm operations TAGS:  RISK MANAGEMENT   FARM SUCCESSION   FARM OPERATIONS Tom J. Bechman LIMIT LIABILITY: Especially farms that operate semitrucks, even to haul their own grain, may want to consider separate LLCs for liability reasons, says lawyer John Schwarz II. If you don’t already operate your farm business through limited liability companies, see if one or more of these would work for you. Darrell Boone  | May 07, 2020 John Schwarz II, Royal Center, Ind., is a practicing lawyer and a farmer. He strongly believes in limited liability companies as a great way to structure your farm business. An LLC limits personal liabilities and provides other benefits. So why don’t more farmers use them? “The main reason is fear,” Schwarz says. “People fear things that sound complicated, and if you want to see farmers head for the door, just mention the dreaded words ‘more paperwork.’” Related:   Get your farm ready to 'play defense' But Schwarz says set

Schwarz featured in Indiana Prairie Farmer

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Get your farm ready to 'play defense' TAGS:  INSURANCE   FARM SUCCESSION   RISK MANAGEMENT Darrell Boone PROTECT THE FARM: John Schwarz II jokingly calls himself “the lawyer with the tractor.” He works to convince farmers why they need to structure their business properly. Insurance is not enough. Select a business structure that provides personal liability protection. Darrell Boone  | May 06, 2020 News flash: Personal injury law is big business. There are hordes of personal injury lawyers, like “The Big Rig Lawyer” or “The Hammer,” promising to sue you and win a huge verdict for their clients and themselves. In contrast, lifelong farmer and ag law attorney John Schwarz II, Royal Center, Ind., operates a practice that helps farmers protect themselves in today’s precarious legal climate. Schwarz says many factors have drastically increased risk and liability. They include: an increase in farm accidents, up 13% in the past five years and 31% in the past 10 years more semitrucks o

Flyer for February 5, 2020 Farm Seminar

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Free National Farm Seminar "Strengthening and Sustaining Farms and Farmers" Join us for a free seminar featuring a dynamic group of local and nationally recognized individuals discussing the path farmers need to be on so as to strengthen their operations and also themselves. When:   February 5, 2020 Where:   Ivy Tech Community Campus, Logansport, Indiana.           On February 5, 2020, at 5:00 pm, there will be a seminar in Logansport, Indiana, at the Ivy Tech Community Room, located at:  1 Ivy Tech Way, Logansport, IN 46947.   Our seminar will focus on ways to strengthen your farm and yourself.   We have been blessed with being able to bring in a strong lineup of speakers from across the County.                For many farmers, times are still very tough in agriculture.   The down economic conditions continue to persist with some saying such will continue for quite some time.   For many farms, survival will not come down to growing the mos

The Doctrine of Adverse Possession: Gaining or losing land by conquest.

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Last month we covered the Doctrine of Title by Acquiescence.   T he law of  acquiescence  pertains to adjoining property owners who are either mistaken where the line between properties are, or agree that a fence or barrier that is not on the legal boundary line is to be considered the legal boundary line.   So, under the law of acquiescence, land can be gained or lost by mistake or by agreement.             Another doctrine where land can be gained or lost is the Doctrine of Adverse Possession, sometimes referred to as “squatter’s rights”.   Adverse Possession occurs where a person in  possession  of land owned by someone else may acquire valid title to it, so long as certain requirements are met.   It arises from English common law, where land in England was continuously changing hands not via purchases, but conquest, pillage, theft, etc.   The theory was that if you could show you possessed land long enough, your title to the land would not be questioned.             W