Farming / Agriculture
As a specialist law firm advising farming and land-owning clients, Frank Smith & Co Solicitors are aware of the legal issues that affect our rural clients, so we are here to provide comprehensive advice for both farmers and landowning families. We recognise that rural clients face unique problems when carrying out succession planning. Without a plan in place the future success of the farming business for example, which may have been in the family for generations, can be at stake so we cannot stress enough the importance of all farmers and landowners in having an up to date Will and succession plan.
In Natalie’s experience of speaking to farming and land-owning clients over the years, the biggest reason farmers have not yet written a Will is because they do not know how to treat their beneficiaries equally when they die. Sadly, in most cases, for the farming business to remain viable for an inheriting child it is often impossible for farmers to treat all children equally unless there are other substantial cash or property assets elsewhere. Dealing with this issue whilst you are alive, no matter how delicate it may be, can prevent long standing family disputes and expensive litigation after you have died.
We can advise on all aspects of Will drafting for farmers and rural business owners and can ensure that you have a Will that represents your wishes and reflects the individual needs of your family and business. For both farmers and landowners, we cannot stress enough the importance of a properly drafted Will in ensuring that valuable land and business assets pass seamlessly on to the next generation.
We have experience of administering estates of all sizes and values with Natalie having a specialism in advising on high value and agricultural estates. We will deal with all aspects of the administration for you to ensure that the estate can be wound up in a timely manner and in a tax efficient way, causing minimum disruption for the businesses and individuals involved. Coming from a farming background and having dealt with many farming estates, Natalie fully understands that access to cash can often present a major issue to farming families when a farmer dies therefore prompt and efficient advice is key. As the probate process progresses, we can work with you and other advisors to negotiate with HMRC on the availability of APR and BPR as appropriate.
Powers of attorney and capacity issues
We advise on all capacity related issues, including in relation to farmers and business owners who are no longer able to take such an active role in the business due to a decline in health and mental capacity. As cash flow can often be particularly important to the farming business it is imperative that these issues are addressed and planned for long before there is a loss of capacity.
We advise farming, landowning families and rural business owners on tax and succession planning ensuring that their business is protected for future generations. As part of the process we can help produce a tax efficient plan to ensure your assets pass to the correct individuals either during your lifetime or after your death. Making appropriate plans during your lifetime is important to minimise any tax liabilities and reduce the risk of family disputes after your death.
We work very closely with other rural professionals with extensive knowledge of the agricultural sector to ensure that matters are dealt with in the most efficient way possible from a taxation point of view and having in mind the future generations that may take on the business further down the line. It is generally preferable that we work closely with your accountant, land agent and financial adviser to ensure that a succession plan can be implemented that fits in with your long-term business strategy and works for you and your family.
Frank Smith & Co Solicitors are specialists in advising farming and land-owning clients and their families on how best to organise their affairs and finances to ensure financial security and peace of mind for the future. Natalie Smith (TEP) is not only an experienced Private client solicitor, but she has also grown up on a family farm and now owns her own smallholding, so she is well positioned to understand the issues and concerns faced by our rural clients and to explain complex legal matters in a clear and concise manner.