Legacy Conversations

The following information is provided by Nationwide, the No.1 farm and ranch insurer in the U.S.¹.

NationwideFinding time to talk to your family about succession planning for your farm may be difficult.

You may also be uncomfortable with the thought of selling your farm or handing over control to family members.

But making the time to develop a transition plan for your farming business will help you ensure that your (and your family’s) wishes are met, emotional stress is minimized, and financial risks and opportunities are addressed.

A trained financial professional can help you develop your transition plan, which may include:

Business entity ownership

This option creates “unit (or share) values” for a farm business structure, much like a Limited Liability Company or corporation. This way, a predecessor can gradually increase the successor’s ownership rights over time to keep farm equity management control in the hands of the active farmer while still passing on assets to other heirs.

Buy/sell arrangement

This arrangement provides a legal structure for the successor to purchase the farm upon certain life events, like a severe illness or death. It’s often funded with life insurance that will someday be used both to purchase the operation at an agreed-upon price and to be able to “buy out” any nonfarm heirs.

Installment sale

Especially for farms seeing rapid growth, an installment sale is one way to essentially “freeze” the value of the farm. The successor begins making installment payments over an agreed-upon time frame. This helps transition farm assets to the successor over time and avoids federal estate taxes on any future growth of the operation.

Intentionally defective grantor trust

As another way to freeze farm assets, creating an IDGT can help the predecessor transfer farm assets through a trust. It’s similar to an installment sale, but the assets go into the trust, not directly to the successor. The trust can provide greater control of the assets. This can be complicated, so it requires the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney.

Inheritance offset

The predecessor can make the non-farm heirs beneficiaries of their life insurance in equal amounts and leave farm assets to the successor. This way, all heirs receive the same amount, but the farm stays in the hands of the new owner
and operator.

You can trust Nationwide to help guide you throughout the transition planning process. Contact your local Nationwide office to learn more.

[¹] *A.M. Best Market Share Report 2022.

Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle, and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2023 Nationwide.


Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
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Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
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Ernie Welch

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Matt Aultman

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Jaclyn De Candio

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Jenna Gregorich

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Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

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Austin Heil

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Mary Smallsreed

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