"Son," you hear aging farmers say to their oldest sons in those movies from the '40s, "I'm going. Take care of the land, and it'll take care of you." Some people believe the family farm is a thing of the past. Handing land down from one generation to the next is just not a given anymore. It is important not to take anything for granted when it comes to passing the farm to the kids or grandkids, especially in Louisiana, a community property state.
If a residential farmer wants to keep the farm going after he (or she) retires or dies, he should have a clear succession plan in place. At a recent symposium, real estate and estate planning professionals identified three key steps someone must take to develop a good plan: 1) Start talking about succession with the rest of the family; 2) surround yourself with experienced and trusted advisors, including attorneys, insurance agents and accountants; and 4) revisit the plan regularly.