Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC Law Blog

Friday, March 27, 2015

Farm Property, Estate Planning and Arkansas Probate Law

Can a Will along with Guided Business Planning and Administration Help Farm Families Pass Their Farms on to the Next Generation?

In Arkansas, almost 90 percent of farms are family-centered sole proprietorships passed from generation to generation. Yet, despite good intentions on the part of individuals who hold the deed, succession can go poorly without a Will and without sound business planning. 

The Advantages of a Will

Without a Will, Arkansas law determines how personal property and real property (including farm property) are divided. By creating a Will, a farm owner can devise property as he or she sees fit. The farm owner can use the Will to name someone to serve as personal representative of his or her estate and also name someone to operate the farm during the probate process.

The Advantages of Business Planning

Business planning can reduce property succession concerns by creating a corporate structure for the farm, thus allowing for the ownership and inheritance of shares in the family business to pass to the next generation. Unlike partnerships and sole proprietorships, other business structures (such as a corporation or limited liability company) do not end with a shareholder’s death. Bylaws and Operating Agreements can be drafted to place restrictions on the transfer of the ownership interest. This can help to ensure that the business interests remain in the family.  

With offices in Little Rock, Conway, and Hot Springs Village, the estate planning law firm of Hyden, Miron & Foster, PLLC is available to help families plan for business succession. Our team of attorneys can address your estate planning concerns via the creation of Wills, trusts, and entity formation.  To contact us, call (501)482-1787 or (888)770-1848.

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