We have all heard the old addage that 'Failing to plan means planning to fail' but are we really listening? Everyone is talking about succession planning but is anyone actually trying to fathom out what to do?
Writing in the Farmers Guardian, Helen Gough (Associate in Agricultural and Rural Affairs with MFG Solicitors in Worcester) warns that farmers across the UK could be leaving their children with 'crippling' tax bills after they die. She goes on to say that complex inheritance rules for agricultural land and buildings mean the Inland Revenue could take more than necessary if farmers fail to plan ahead.
"Without that careful tax and succession planning, there is a very real risk that those inheriting farms and agricultural property will not only be left with a crippling tax bill but they may also have to face a dispute over who is entitled to what. If things go wrong, then as well as the tax bill the farm may have to be split up and sold off, while families are broken apart by dispute and legal costs,” she added.
Clearly the way forward is to start talking within the family about what is going to happen in the future. Well that's all well and good but it may not be that easy. None us want to contemplate death and it might be a difficult conversation to start. At Barbers Rural we are well versed in helping to facilitiate family conversations, particularly difficult ones. If you really want to start planning come and talk to us about the best way forward. The first step is always the most difficult.