After Ohio Farm Bureau successfully advocated for elimination of the Ohio estate tax, legal professionals and farm transition planning experts say farmers shouldn’t neglect sound transition planning, according to Ohio State University Extension.
“I think it’s fair to say that the fear of paying the estate tax is often what gets the family to the lawyer, to the accountant and to their financial planners and gets the discussion going,” said Peggy Kirk Hall, director of the Agricultural and Resource Law Program of Ohio State University Extension. “I think that’s probably the driver, and an important one.”
Hall said while avoiding tax liability may be a key reason farm families focus on transition planning, several other key benefits arise from the discussion. Long-term management strategies, ownership transition and sound financial forecasting all can spring from the transition discussion.
Absent an estate tax, Hall points to the rising cost of long-term care, as well as retirement issues, as potential incentives to continue focusing on transition planning.
“In talking to my private-practice colleagues, the biggest challenge is getting farmers through the door to discuss these very challenging, very difficult personal decisions,” Hall said.