Estate Planning and Farm Transition

Estate Planning is the series of decisions you make about how and when and to whom you will rid yourself of your accumulated property, a/k/a your “stuff,” during life or at death.

The resources and discussions found in this portal are designed to help you put your estate planning decisions down on paper in their proper form to give them legal effect, and to help ensure such assets are protected against needless transfer costs and the claims of those to whom you do not want to transfer your property.  This page is also meant to help you enhance your benefit from private legal services, and to revisit written plans when necessary.

Planning the Future of Your Farm 
This comprehensive workbook – first published in 2006 and updated in 2018 – contains useful narratives and worksheets to assist with developing your estate planning and business succession documents. Download the workbook.

Keeping Farmland in Farming: A Look at Farm Leases from both Landowner and Producer Perspective
This narrative reviews the farm lease tenure relationship from the landowner’s side and from the farmer’s side, with perspectives each should consider when reaching an agreement for the use of farmland.

Lease Memorandum Template (Multi Parcel) This is a template for a Memorandum of Lease listing multiple parcels owned by a landowner to be farmed by one producer entity, and recorded with the county register of deeds. Under North Carolina law, a lease in excess of three (3) years must be recorded to protect the leasehold on land transferred to a new owner (e.g. sold, gifted or inherited).

North Carolina Estate Procedure Pamphlet
Property Decisions for Estate Planning (AG-688-07)
Estate Plan Documents Explained (AG-688-061)
The Surviving Spouse (AG-688-051)
Your Estate Plan – Where to Begin (AG-688-04)
Where There is a Will, There is a Way (AG-688-02)
How Do You Own Your Property (AG-688-01)
Deciding How to Structure Your Business
Taxation of Estates and Estates after the Tax Cut and Jobs Act – January 2018