Farmer & Brother
Direct Control | Indirect Control | No Control | Quiz
John, 52, the farm operator, is planning to talk to his father about farm transfer. He knows that if his father agrees to transfer the farm to him, the father will want to include his brother, Richard, in some way. Richard, 54, lives in a large city about 6 hours away. He has never expressed any interest in the farm.
Attitude: Siblings who move away from the farm often seem uninterested in the operation of the farm until they realize that their parents won't live forever.
Preparation: John should have some ideas in mind for including Richard in the estate when he meets with his brother. He could ask a lawyer for advice about making an equitable settlement regarding the farm and the parents' assets.
Timing: The best time to discuss estate planning with siblings is while parents are healthy. This will help in reducing some of the emotion that might be involved if either parent is in poor health.
Behavior: John should avoid bringing up past situations when he or his brother might have been favored or treated unfairly. He should explain his position in a logical manner.