Partnerships Agreements and Wills for Farmers
Partnerships Agreements and Wills for Farmers.
By Karen Hyde, Private Client Solicitor at Bowcock Cuerden LLP
The ideal scenario when considering succession planning is to have a comprehensive and up to date Partnership Agreement, titles to all land should be up to date and registered, with up to date Wills that do not conflict with the Partnership Agreement. They should reflect ownership (and legal) reality.
The Partnership Agreement will include the partners’ income shares, capital contributions and what land is (or is not) “partnership property”.
A Will is the only way to be as sure as possible that your wishes will be carried out. Without a Will, your assets will be divided between specified blood (or even remoter) relatives and not necessarily in the order or to the persons you would wish. Having an up to date Will avoids disputes over who will deal with your estate and you have the confidence of having chosen your own executors.
If you are involved in a family farming business, it is essential that your Will dovetails with the succession terms of your business structure, and best reflects and caters for the family and ownership structure. It is important to consider and identify courses of action to protect your wealth for future generations (and from care home fees) and reduce your tax exposure so far as it may be possible to do so by way of the significant Inheritance Tax reliefs available for farmers who have business and agricultural assets. Other factors to consider include putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney to enable the farming business to continue notwithstanding the possibility of loss of mental capacity.
Specialist legal advice should be obtained in the creation of Partnership Agreements and Wills and it is important to do so at an early stage and to review all documentation regularly.
Above all else, settling your Will ensures your peace of mind. For more information please get in touch with Karen Hyde