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Agricultural Succession and Tax Planning
What happens to your estate, including your interest in any farming business and/or land, is usually determined by your Will. There are often a lot of conflicting interests to consider when deciding what you would like to happen on death, especially when some family members are involved in the family farming business and others are not. We can assist you in considering all the relevant points and drafting your Will in such a way to protect the farm and land for future generations whilst providing for other beneficiaries where possible.
Many claims involving Wills relate to family farms and actual or alleged promises about how it will be left. These claims are very expensive to bring and defend. We are able to put in place a well-drafted Will and provide the appropriate advice to ensure that the risks of a claim are reduced.
Farms and agricultural land have often remained in the same family for generations. With farmers faccing more and more economic uncertainty, it is essential that you put in place plans to enable your farming business to continue for many more years.
We understand the need for farming businesses to diversify to enable them to thrive in hard economic times. Our experienced solicitors are able to advise you on the most appropriate business structure to suit your business and your family as circumstances change.
We can work with you and other professionals like farm managers, land agents and accountants to compile and implement a business plan and strategy to enable you to prepare for the future.
Inheritance Tax Planning
Farmhouses, land and buildings used for the purpose of agriculture may qualify for valuable inheritance tax relief called Agricultural Property Relief (“APR”). Only the agricultural value of the land and buildings will benefit from APR, but this can still be substantial.
The farming business and any land used for the purpose of the farming business (to the extent that it does not qualify for APR) may qualify for separate inheritance tax relief called Business Property Relief (“BPR”).
We have specialist tax advisers who will discuss with you what taxes may affect you and your business and can assist you in arranging your affairs to ensure that you and your business utilise the benefit of the tax relief that is available to you in the most effective way.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
Every farmer and landowner should have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place for Property and Financial Affairs. A Lasting Power of Attorney enables someone to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity and are unable to make decisions yourself, or if you wish to delegate certain decisions, for example, in the event of physical incapacity. This can include decisions about day to day tasks such as buying and selling stock, paying wages and dealing with the rural payments agency but also bigger decisions such as whether to execute a sale of land and buildings.
You can have more than one Lasting Power of Attorney in place, so you may wish to have one document that appoints people to manage your business and/or land and a separate document which appoints others to manage your personal finances.
We are able to prepare and register your Lasting Powers of Attorney and ensure that they are tailored to your specific requirements.