It’s no secret. As land prices, equipment and asset values creep higher, so does the value of the family farm. Today it’s not uncommon for values to be in the six or seven figure range. That’s why one expert says, as kids get married and spouses come on board, it may be time to consider protecting that asset.
The Brooks dairy farm in Waupaca, Wis., is a busy operation and fortunately still running. A difficult family transition forced Ron Brooks to make some tough choices.
“We had to put Zoey in an equity position immediately,” Brooks says. His daughter Zoey and her sisters are now full owners. “To save the farm, I now work for my daughters. My daughters own all the land. It’s in a separate LLC called, ‘Brooks Farms Homestead., LLC’ and to be honest, our succession plan, divorce or no divorce, looks about the same today as it would have no matter what."
Estate planning attorney and legacy expert Polly Dobbs says when marriage happens, it may be time to take the farm off the table with a prenuptial agreement.