Farm Succession Planning

By  Micheal A. Mulloy

Over the past few years I have represented a number of North Dakota farmers and ranchers in a variety ofphoto-micheal-a-mulloy-attorney-at-law different matters.  I always enjoy listening to my clients’ stories about how farming and ranching have changed over
the years – it has had its ups and certainly its downs.  However, one constant in the discussions is the hard work and dedication that is exhibited by North Dakota family farmers and ranchers.  Many clients from this sector of the population often visit my office to discuss land leases and how to go about purchasing more property.  However, in recent years, the one question that I am often asked is, “What happens to the farm if I end up in a nursing home?”  While many of my clients are busy running successful farm and ranch operations, something they always end up pushing to the side is their estate planning and what happens to the operation when they are no longer able to work the land.  As an estate planning attorney and a probate attorney, I cannot tell you how important it is to plan your estate while you are young and healthy so you can have a hand in devising your estate the way you intended to do so, even when you’re gone.


To better assist my farm and ranch clientele, I attended a farm succession program put on by the International Farm Transition Network on June 7-9, 2016.  This program was attended by various professionals including lawyers, bankers, accountants, financial advisors and extension agents from all over the state.  The purpose of this program was to learn about the various methods to collaboratively assist farmers and ranchers with how to properly transition their beloved operations to the next generation.  Following the completion of a few additional coursework items, I will be certified by the IFTN as a “Succession Coordinator.”


I look forward to assisting clients with not only their estate planning needs, but also in answering any questions they may have about succession planning.  After all, nothing is more important to the good of North Dakota than the continuation of our family farm and ranch operations.