April 13, 2010   Inheritance

Ten Simple Steps to Prevent World War III Among Your Children

By Irina Shea, Esq.
How bad is it out there? Perhaps you’ve been reading news of high profile estate disputes with tens of millions of dollars at stake. Or perhaps you personally know of someone in your circle of friends and family who have been dragged through a messy estate. The stories are endless but your family doesn’t have to end up in court with siblings not speaking to one another, if you follow these 10 simple steps to keeping the peace. (1) Talk to your children about your estate plan. How to raise the delicate subjects of death and money? Call them right from your estate planner’s office. The conversation might go something like this: “Hi Nick, This is Mom. Daddy and I are in the estate plan­ner’s office and she said we should run some things by yo...
April 10, 2010   Inheritance

Are We Helping to Pass on the Farm?

By John R. Baker, J.D.
An interesting quote but, what does all this have to do with farming, farm business suc­cession planning, estate planning and pre­serving wealth? What did Aristotle mean by this? What he meant was that there is nothing intrinsic in a tree, an inanimate object, that, when falling to the forest floor, transmutes it into a Greek trireme with oars and sails and a ram. Obviously when a tree falls to the forest floor it decomposes. No ship, no oars, no sails, just rotting wood.   Aristotle could just as well said, “If the farming art were in the land, it would produce the same results by nature.” Simply stated, there is nothing intrinsic in land, equipment, buildings, facilities or machinery that transmutes these inanimate objects into a farm business. As we all know, fa...
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