In Florida, there are many families that have held agricultural lands in their families for generations. As land is passed from one generation to the next, there is always a temptation to sell the land to pay taxes, expenses, or simply cash out. To preserve the land for future generations certain safeguards must be put into place as part of your estate plan. Succession planning is the process of setting up a smooth transition between you and the future owners of your property.
There are many factors to consider when creating a succession plan for Agricultural Land.
Without proper planning, a valuable parcel of property could trigger an estate tax that would require that the land be sold to satisfy the tax obligation. With ongoing development, agricultural lands have been the subject of increased taxation, especially during the probate process.
The probate process can take a year or longer to be completed and finalized by the courts. It is important to have a management plan in place to ensure that the property is properly cared for during this time.
Creating a business structure for the land, can secure the financial future of generations to come. Additionally, this structure should allow younger generations to participate in the management and ownership of the land once they are ready.
For some families, it may be important to help ensure that the land is continued to be used for agricultural purposes. This may be accomplished through a variety of mechanisms such as a conservation easement.
Planning for the preservation of agricultural lands is a unique area of law that must be done properly to protect future generations. When considering an estate plan, it is important to contemplate all aspects of your agricultural properties, the income generated by the properties, and the future goals for the properties. By creating an estate plan now, you may help preserve wealth for future generations.