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Include Goals, Philosophies in Farm Estate Plans

SAN ANTONIO, January 13, 2014 – Farmers must start with their end goals when planning to pass their farms to the next generation, a certified public accountant on Monday advised Farm Bureau members attending a workshop at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention.

“Evaluate what you want to do with your goals and philosophies,” said Christopher “Chris” Hesse of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP. “It’s never too soon to do it.”

“At least have the conversation with the children and evaluate where you’re at – even if you decide not to do anything yet,” Hesse added.

Tax laws and implications should then be applied to help meet those goals and philosophies, he explained.

He recommended farmers consider many factors when determining how to divide their assets. These include any children with special needs, long-term education goals or mitigating factors.

When dividing their assets, farmers are only limited by their imaginations, according to Hesse.

Hesse stressed farmers should keep in mind $14,000 is the annual threshold for the gift tax exclusion. Annual gifts of that amount or less do not have tax implications.

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  Mace Thornton
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