Many people who inherit family owned businesses and farms in Kentucky or North Carolina are stunned to find that a significant IRS bill will affect their family legacy. Family owned farms and companies can trigger estate taxes, which often put an entire inheritance at risk. This is just one of many legal challenges faced by people who own companies or land.
The Potter Law Firm understands the special risks faced by farmers and entrepreneurs, who the law does not always protect and sometimes actually harms. We will make Kentucky, North Carolina, and federal laws actually work for you to protect your business and land during your lifetime and after your death.
Give us a call at (704) 944-3245, (606) 324-5516 or (859) 372-6655 to speak with a member of our legal team to discover more about why your assets are at risk and what an attorney can do to protect you. We can also answer your questions about family businesses and farms including:
- What are some big risks for owners of family owned businesses and farms?
- What can I do to keep my farm and business safe?
- How can an attorney help me protect my farm or family company?
What are Some Risks for Owners of Farms & Businesses?
Farms and family businesses can create substantial risks for owners due to the significant value these assets often have. If the owner of a farm or business is sued, for example, the company or farmland could provide funds that could be used to pay the plaintiff. This can make resolving lawsuits harder, since plaintiffs filing suit will know there are assets available to compensate them.
The value of farms and family businesses can also disqualify you from getting your nursing home bills paid through Medicaid, as Medicaid is means-tested. Since private insurers and Medicare won’t usually pay for a nursing home, spending down your assets becomes the only option if Medicaid denies you coverage due to your company or farm.
The substantial worth of farms and businesses can continue to create legal issues even after death. If you own your farm or business and you pass away, the value of company assets or land could push your estate above the value allowed to pass tax free. The IRS could thus ask for a significant sum of money.
Unfortunately, many farm and business owners don’t leave enough liquid assets for all of the estate taxes to be paid, since their wealth is usually tied up in land and company assets. This means the only options are for surviving loved ones to take out loans, or for the farmland or business to be put up for sale. You never want your land to be lost or your loved ones forced to sell your family business to strangers. This can happen, though, if you don’t take steps to prevent these undesirable outcomes.
How Can You Keep Your Farm or Family Business Safe?
There are a variety of different legal tools that can be used to protect farms and family businesses, not only from these risks but also from other potential sources of loss such as divorce, irresponsible heirs, bankruptcy, creditor claims, and more.
Making use of the appropriate legal tools is complicated under both North Carolina and Kentucky law. You need to understand state and federal tax codes, Medicaid eligibility rules, inheritance laws, and laws related to estate planning tools.
The good news is, you do not have to handle this complicated estate planning process on your own. An experienced attorney at The Potter Law Firm will assist you in finding ways to keep your property and company safe.
The steps you will take often involves the use of trusts, but you can also consider things like incorporation and family partnerships. Some of these tools can not only help protect your company, but could also make it possible for you to keep other assets safe as well. For example, incorporating your business can ensure that company debts or judgments against your organization do not put your personal assets at risk.
How can an Attorney Help Protect Your Farm and Family Business?
The Potter Law Firm can provide you with invaluable assistance protecting your company or your farmland. We not only work with you to address all of the common risks, but we can also help you to find ways to facilitate the timely transfer of these assets to new owners upon your death or disability so no period of uncertainty results in mismanagement and loss. To find out more about the ways in which we assist farmers and entrepreneurs in Kentucky and North Carolina, give us a call at (704) 944-3245 or (606) 324-5516. You can also contact us online today.