Family owned farms grow the food that America eats, and family businesses form the backbone of the economy and local communities. If you have a family owned business or farm, you should be very proud of what you have built. You should also take steps today to protect your company and land so you can ensure that it will still be in your family tomorrow and for future generations.
Owners of family-owned businesses and farms face many potential risks and must make plans to ensure they have secured their land and companies to serve as their legacies. Thompson Law, PLLC can help.
We work with you to make use of the tools available under South Dakota law that can keep your company and farm secure. Give us a call to find out how a Sioux Falls farm and family business lawyer can help you and to get answers to questions you have including:
- Why do I need to protect my farm or family business?
- What kinds of tools can I use to protect my farm and family business?
- How can a Sioux Falls farm and family business lawyer help?
Why Do I Need to Protect My Farm or Family Business?
A farm and a family business can have substantial value. While this is a good thing, it also means that there may be people who want to take these valuable assets from you. The government may also want its piece of your family’s wealth.
You need to identify how you could lose money to claims made against you and to demands on your wealth, and you need to make certain you’ve taken steps to successfully mitigate the risk of loss.
Your farm and business also likely require careful and appropriate management by a knowledgeable person. If you are that person and something happens to you, your company or farm operation could be in jeopardy unless you have a succession plan for someone appropriate and knowledgeable to take over. You need to think about what will happen to your farm or business not only after your death, but also due to disability that leaves you incapacitated.
Thompson Law, PLLC helps you to identify risks, which could include things like lawsuits; creditor claims; estate tax; nursing home care bills; and government claims on your estate if the government paid out benefits to your family through programs like Medicaid. Once the threats to your farm or business have been determined, our legal team will help you to use legal tools to neutralize those threats and keep your money and property safe.
What Kinds of Tools Can I Use to Protect My Farm and Family Business?
The tools that a farm or family business owner must use are going to be determined based on the risks that the farm or business owner faces. Some of the different ways to try to protect your land and company can include:
- Trusts: Trusts are a versatile tool that can help you to keep your family business or farm safe in case you need nursing home care; if estate tax will be assessed; if you have irresponsible heirs; or if the government wants to try to recover funds spent on Medicaid. Trusts can also facilitate the timely transfer of responsibility for managing your assets in case of your death or incapacity.
- Incorporation: Incorporation is a tool that can protect personal assets by identifying your business as a separate legal entity. It can also make planning for business succession easier.
- Powers of attorney: A power of attorney is a tool that you can use to specify who can take over managing your assets in the event of incapacity, so you can avoid a period of uncertainty.
- Succession planning: Thompson Law, PLLC helps you to make a comprehensive and appropriate plan for a trusted new owner to immediately take over managing your business or managing your farm if something happens to you.
Thompson Law, PLLC will assist with using these tools, or other appropriate strategies, to make sure your family company and farmland are safe to serve as your legacy.
How can a Sioux Falls Farm and Family Business Lawyer Help?
Thompson Law, PLLC has helped many families in South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa to make plans to protect their farms and businesses. We also assist heirs or beneficiaries who are inheriting and who are worried about what will happen to the gifts they have been given during the probate or trust administration process. Give us a call at 605-362-9100 or contact us online to find out more about how we can help.