Father’s Estate Plan Leaves Many Unanswered Questions Relating to Gifts to On-Farm Heir

 

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Image by Claire via flickr.com

 

This post is not legal advice.

Many of you have farm succession plans or estate plans that may handle issues related to on-farm heirs and off-farm heirs.  But have you communicated decisions in these plans to both sets of heirs?  An interesting case out of North Dakota, In re Estate of Feldmann, addresses that issue.  In this case, the Supreme Court of North Dakota agreed that testimony showed the father had gifted all the farm equipment to the on-farm heir and was not apart of the off-farm heir’s share of the estate.  The on-farm heir was also entitled to the wheat crop growing on the inherited farmland.  The off-farm heirs were only entitled to proceeds from the wheat crop harvested at the time of the dad’s death.  Families should discuss these issues to make sure that everyone is on the same page, so heirs understand how the property will be treated at death (or when it is gifted to another heir) to reduce tensions. Continue reading

Federal Estate Tax and Gift Tax Limits Announced For 2018

 

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Image by Shane Kemp

 

This is not a substitute for legal or tax advice.  

In October, the IRS announced the revised federal estate tax and gift tax limits for 2018.  For 2018, the federal estate tax limit will increase from $5.49 million to $5.6 million.  The federal gift tax limit will increase from $14,000 in 2017 to $15,000 in 2018.  In Maryland, state estate tax limits will increase to $4 million (up from $3 million in 2017). Continue reading

Proposed Settlement of Claims Against Syngenta May Not Apply to Maryland and Delaware Corn Growers, But A Future Settlement Will Settle Claims Nationwide

 

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Grain silos with bare field.  Image by Jeannette E. Spaghetti via Flickr.com

 

Disclaimer:   Paul does not take any position on the claims asserted against Syngenta or on whether producers join in a  class action lawsuit against Syngenta.  This article is for informational purposes only.

On September 26, 2017, Syngenta agreed to settle claims brought by U.S. farmers for bringing Viptera and Duracade corn varieties to market before approval in China. News of the settlement came after weeks of a trial involving about 22,000 Minnesota corn growers seeking $400 million in damages, following a settlement in June where a jury awarded over 7,000 Kansas corn growers $218 million in damages. While terms of this late September settlement are currently unknown, reports are that Syngenta is seeking to establish a fund of around $1.5 billion to settle this ongoing litigation. These class action lawsuits currently involve corn growers who priced corn after November 18, 2013, and who did not purchase Viptera or Duracade corn varieties.
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