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