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Carefully Consider Fiduciary Obligations

Posted on May 23, 2019 by

The sponsorship of a qualified retirement plan can be rewarding but frustrating – there are so many rules. Unfortunately agricultural employers are not given a break when it comes to sponsoring such retirement plans. Examples of qualified retirement plans are 401(k) plans, profit-sharing plans and money-purchase plans. Leaving the tax rules for another day — […]

Dairy Breakfasts, Farm Tours and Other Events–How to Limit Your Liability When Hosting an Event on the Farm

Posted on April 22, 2019 by

Hosting an event is a great way to build community morale, gain exposure for the host and possibly even make a little money. Farms can make excellent venues for hosting all types of events. The farmer hosting an event should make it his or her goal that each event-goer is having too good of a […]

Insurance Claims: When in Doubt, Report

Posted on April 10, 2019 by

Any prudent business obtains some level of insurance. Those periodic payments buy the peace of mind that insurance will step in when needed. In the event of certain unforeseen property damage, injuries or other losses, insurance provides the funds and legal support necessary for a business to avoid catastrophe. At least that’s how it should […]

Review Business Contract Carefully

Posted on February 22, 2019 by

Agricultural producers are often asked to enter into written contracts. Those contracts can cover a wide range of issues including buying equipment, leasing property and selling products. Although the subject matter varies widely, there are a number of issues that will typically apply to any business contract no matter what the subject matter. This article […]

Farm Succession Planning

Posted on November 15, 2018 by

A huge number of baby boomers have created or continued successful family owned farms. As they approach retirement the future of those farms hinges on their ability to successfully transition to a next generation. Less than 30 percent of family farms successfully transfer to a subsequent generation. A clear succession plan is the most important […]

The Wisconsin Homestead Exemption

Posted on September 25, 2018 by

Farmers may have wondered how a neighbor or someone else filing bankruptcy can keep his or her house. The answer is exemptions. Exemptions are assets that can be kept from unsecured creditors. The Wisconsin Legislature didn’t want debtors on the street with no assets so it created exemptions. The Wisconsin homestead exemption allows a debtor […]

Will Parents’ Long-Term Care Costs Sink the Farm?

Posted on July 11, 2018 by

Problems can result when parents maintain ownership of a farm but need long-term health-care services from an assisted-living facility or nursing home. Expenses associated with long-term care can jeopardize a farm business if not properly managed ahead of time. There’s a common situation attorneys encounter when helping farm families with farm legal matters. Although parents […]

Qualifying for Favorable Lending Terms in a Financially Stressed Market

Posted on July 3, 2018 by

Uncertainties in agricultural markets continue to impact lenders’ financing decisions as well as loan terms and conditions. But there are ways to qualify for favorable lending terms even in a time of financial stress and challenging markets. A prospective borrower should review farm-operation goals and how to achieve those goals as well as credit needs. […]

You’ve Been Sued . . . Now What??

Posted on May 18, 2018 by

A man walks into a farmer’s barn and hands him papers. The farmer discovers he has been served with a lawsuit. Reactions typically vary from panic to choosing to ignore what has been received. Both are poor choices. There are instead logical steps to take. Start saving all documents that have anything to do with […]

Who Gets the Farm if There are On-Farm and Off-Farm Heirs?

Posted on April 10, 2018 by

Family farmers face a difficult issue of passing on the farm if there are both on-farm and off-farm heirs. A family farm is a business but also about family. Doing what’s best for both farm and family requires making difficult decisions and sometimes rocking the boat. Most parents try to treat their children equally when […]