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What are some tips for dividing the family farm?

When you own your own business in Michigan, it can make estate planning more difficult. Things may get even tougher if you own a farm. Dividing the family farm can be a very sensitive issue to broach with your loved ones because everyone has a stake in what happens with it. So, as you start your estate planning, here are some tips to keep in mind from NorthernAg.

Make sure that you understand the ownership of your farm. The law may change what your will says upon your death. For example, if you have put your children's names on the deed to the farm, then that takes precedence and they will get the farm when you die even if you wanted it to go to your grandchildren instead.

You can avoid arguments between family members if you make your plans clear and spell them out during estate planning. For example, if your brother expects to inherit your farm upon your death, but you instead leave it to your children, there could be hard feelings. By making everyone aware of your plans, it can remove some of the burden after your death. You may even be able to work something out that makes everyone happy.

Finally, debt is a very real issue when you die. If there are debts related to the farm, creditors will expect to get paid. You can plan ahead for this in your estate plan. It will allow you to ensure debts get paid properly and that your loved ones are not left trying to pay them off. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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