Over the years, there has certainly been a tradition where parents raise their children on the farm, the children leave to go to college and then they come back home and run the farm. Reports have claimed that this is more often true for sons than daughters. But the fact remains that there has long been this unwritten rule that someone will come back to the farm.
However, some reports have also claimed that the number of children willing to do this is shrinking. More and more often, the children want to have their own careers or leave the farm. Some of them go to college, study other topics and then decide they don’t want to return to farming life. This can be problematic for farmers, who assumed that their kids would get the farm. So what should you do?
Call a family meeting
As you do your estate planning, the most important thing to do is to talk to your family about what they want and how to accomplish these goals. If you want to leave them the farm but none of them want it, then it’s time to start considering other options. But you may find that one of your heirs does, in fact, want the farm, even if it’s not the person you expected. So the first step is simply to ask questions and have a conversation about what the next steps will look like.
If it does turn out that there’s no one who wants to take on this responsibility, you may have to consider things like selling the farm to a third party and leaving the money to your heirs. On the other hand, if it turns out that multiple heirs want to run the farm together, you may have to create a succession plan that gives them all specific roles and defines exactly how the assets will move from one generation to the next.
Either way, this part of estate planning can get complicated, so be sure you know what steps to take.