Have you made your Will yet?
Making a Will is a very important task to consider for any farmer today. Many farmers delay it for as long as possible believing that they can continue indefinitely. Ciaran Beatty, Teagasc Advisor, Castlerea says it is a difficult topic to address and many farmers avoid it and have no plans in place
Indeed no one wants to talk about what is to happen to their personal and business affairs once they die. It is quite a difficult topic to address and because of that many families do not have a plan put in place.
Unfortunately family disputes over land can be extremely bitter and divisive especially when one considers that this land has been held in the same family for generations. Indeed the immortal lines of the Bull McCabe of The Field best illustrates the intensity of feeling: “There is another law stronger than the Common Law, the law of the land”.
What steps are involved?
- The first step is to involve all the family in succession planning. Good communication makes a smooth transition more likely. Not everyone will agree with each other, but the fact that they all have their say is better in the long run.
- Ensure that you involve your Accountant as well at this stage in order to avoid leaving any substantial inheritance tax bill to your nominated Successor.
- Your Will should be drawn up by a Solicitor so that it is valid and don’t forget to review it from time to time to make sure that it still reflects your wishes.
- Do it sooner than later. Remember that to make a valid Will you must also be of sound mind otherwise your Will may be open to challenge and nobody wants this.
We are all aware of the disasters that can happen when no Will has been made. Unfortunately relationships can and do break down and that aftermath can result in complex legal proceedings and costs. The cost of making a Will is approximately €150 - €200 but is money well spent and can lift a weight of your shoulders knowing that your final wishes will be respected and carried out. Maybe it is time to make that appointment.
If you found this interesting you might like to read Planning for the smooth transfer of the family farm | Read more here on Succession & Inheritance
Teagasc Advisors write articles on topics of interest to farmers on a regular basis here on Teagasc Daily. Find your local Teagasc office here