Why Thomson Hayton Winkley and The Rural Law Practice?
We cannot stress enough just how important it is for farmers – or indeed any family business owner – to think about wills and succession planning. Leaving things to chance can cost your estate, create practical difficulties and at worse can result in family disputes.
Not having a will means that the Intestacy Rules will determine who inherits your estate and who will be in charge, and this may not be what you had thought would happen. Even if you have a will, if it is out of date it can also cause problems, particularly if there have been changes in the family dynamic since the will was made. It is not unusual for there to have been a falling out between family members and if you are thinking of disinheriting someone who might otherwise expect to benefit from your will, we can advise you how to take preventative steps to ward off a challenge or proprietary estoppel claim (which are becoming increasingly common in farming scenarios).
It is also important to consider the inheritance tax (IHT) implications of your plans as there are several exemptions and reliefs that can be used to reduce the IHT burden. These include the Residence Nil Rate Band, Business Property Relief and Agricultural Property Relief. And what will happen if you become incapacitated? Lasting Powers of Attorney can help others to continue running the farm.
Having acted for many generations of farming families we understand the complexities of succession planning in this particular area and you will be in safe hands. For more information see our Wills & Inheritance pages, or you can request a free Farming Review.