Friday, April 2, 2010

This Blog is sort of an ongoing “page” linked from my MICHIGAN ESTATE PLANNING and MICHIGAN BUSINESS LAW Blogs. You most likely arrived here by clicking on a link in one of these pages. If you got here on your own, welcome, and please check the links on the linkbar at the top of this blog to my other Blogs on ESTATE PLANNING, BUSINESS LAW, and ASSET PROTECTION. If you are a professional advisor (accountants, financial planners, bankers, insurance professionals and consultants) you may want to check my ISSUES FOR ADVISORS Blog which can be found from the ESTATE PLANNING or BUSINESS LAW BLOG. It is an archive of my “Issues For Advisors” quarterly Newsletter. I you wish to be put on my electronic mailing list for the newsletter, please shoot me an e-mail and I’ll add you.

I have had the very good fortune of working with many agricultural producers over my 25 plus years of practice, including farmers, large and small, family and corporate, including cash crop, dairy, poultry, beef, hog, timber and fruit farmers. I have also represented co-ops, farm implement dealerships, elevators, and crop insurance, seed and feed sales persons.

A substantial part of my practice as been agriculture related Estate Planning, Business Setup and representation, and Succession Planning for these clients. This has given me the opportunity to learn about and apply many of the state an federal laws related to agriculture.

These laws include, among others, Land Use laws such as Michigan’s Farmland Development and Open Space Preservation law (P.A. 116); Michigan’s “Land Division Act,” Michigan Law capping valuation increases under the Agricultural Use Exemption, The Michigan Right to Farm Act, Michigan’s Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices (“GAAMPS”), and others. I have also worked with federal and state law as it relates to farm businesses in the area of Federal set aside and entitlement programs, under USDA programs.

My general business focus has allowed me to understand the interaction between general business entities and how they are peculiarly related to farming operations including land ownership, and other issues, using corporations, partnerships, limited liabilities companies, cooperatives and occasionally other entities.

My focus on Estate Planning has helped me work with farm families who have special problems and concerns with “Passing Down The Farm” to children, including an understanding of the Federal Estate and Gift Tax, capital gains issues, and personal issues on how to “fairly” transfer assets to the next generation.

This page will be supplemented, from time to time with articles and commentary germane to farms and farming.


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