Passing on ownership of a farm business can be stressful, whatever the circumstances. However, it can be particularly difficult when the transfer is unplanned through illness or the sudden death of the owner. It is, therefore, important that you consider your options and have made legal arrangements to ensure that your wishes for the future ownership of your farm business are carried out.
If you do not make a will then your spouse may not automatically inherit all of your property after your death. The rules of intestacy will provide that your estate will be divided between your spouse and children in a predetermined way. This can often cause disputes within families and the breakup of the farming business.
It is important that you make and regularly update a will, to provide certainty and clarity regarding the division of your estate and to avoid the potential for disputes and delays. If you choose to make a will, it must be carefully drafted as a poorly made will may be worse than no will at all. Will challenges and disputes are costly and may destroy the business and family relationships.
It is important that you choose a solicitor who understands the specific issues involved in the transfer of a farm business and executors who have a good knowledge of your particular business. When making your will, it is vital that your solicitor has knowledge of all the assets involved in your farm business. This may include not only the land and farmhouse, but also the livestock, plant and machinery, milk quota and entitlement to farming grants and payments.
For anything further, one of our specialists would be delighted to meet you either in our office or in your own home to talk through your requirements and answer any questions. Please contact us at any time.