FSA Disaster and Loan Programs- Grand Island- FREE WORKSHOP

Date- Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Time- 10:00am- noon

Location– Hall County Extension Office, Grand Island

The workshop will cover Farm Service Agency livestock disaster programs, direct and guaranteed loan programs, and NextGen (Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program). It is intended to be useful for established farm and ranch owners, their successors, and for beginners.

To register or for questions, call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.
Topics include:
  • FSA livestock disaster programs
    • Livestock Forage Program (LFP)
    • Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP)
    • Emergency Livestock Assistance Program (ELAP)
  • FSA loan programs
    • both direct and guaranteed operating and ownership loans including those programs targeted at beginning farmers and ranchers\
    • micro loan program
    • the recently expanded farm storage facility loan program
  • Will address some issues that arise under these programs when farm and ranches use limited liability entities as part of their business and/or succession planning
  • Benefits and requirements of NextGen (Nebraska Beginning Farmer Tax Credit Program), including requirements for use by family members.
  • Joe Hawbaker, Agricultural Law Attorney, Hawbaker Law Office, Omaha
  • Amy Swoboda, Food & Farm Attorney, Beginning Farmer Project, Legal Aid of Nebraska
These workshops are made possible through the Nebraska Network for Beginning Farmers & Ranchers and the Beginning Farmer Project of Legal Aid of Nebraska under an outreach grant from the Farm Service Agency, USDA.

Survey for Farm/Ranch Seekers and Owners

This short 5 minute survey aims to learn how farm/ranch owners are thinking about future opportunities for their land, and how that compares to people who are looking for a farm/ranch of their own. The data collected will be publicly made available through NextGen and other programs. All responses are anonymous and confidential.

This survey is part of a United States Department of Agriculture study led by the Kansas Rural Center and Indiana University. For questions about the survey contact Julia Valliant at jdv@indiana.edu or 812-855-3155.

Please access survey here.

Beatrice FREE Farm Transition and Estate Planning Workshop March 1

You are welcome to attend a free workshop on business succession and estate planning for farm and ranch owners, families and beginners.   The workshop will be held in Beatrice, (March 1, 2017) at the Extension Office at the fairgrounds.  The workshop runs from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm.  There is no charge for the workshop.  To register (and for questions) call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

The workshop is about farm and ranch business succession and family estate planning.  It will include a discussion of beginning farmer programs that can aid in succession planning.  The workshop should be useful for established farm and ranch owners, for their successors, and for beginners.   Topics include:  stages of succession planning, contribution & compensation, balancing the interests of on-farm and off-farm heirs; the importance of communication, setting goals, assessing feasibility, and balancing intergenerational expectations and needs; beginning farmer loan and tax credit programs; the use of trusts, wills, life estate deeds and business entities (such as the limited liability company) in family estate and business succession planning;  legal tools for balancing the interests of successors and off-farm heirs; asset protection; taxation (federal transfer taxes, Nebraska inheritance tax, basis adjustment), and essential estate documents. 

Joe Hawbaker, Agricultural Law attorney, with Hawbaker Law Office, Omaha

Dave Goeller, Deputy Director, Northeast Center for Risk Management Education, UNL

This workshop is made possible by the Nebraska Network for Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, the Farm and Ranch Project of Legal Aid of Nebraska, USDA-FSA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Next Gen, Nebraska Farmers Union Foundation, UNL Extension Gage Co, and a lunch will be provided.

March Clinic Dates

Farmers and ranchers are invited to attend a FREE clinic.  The clinics are one-on-one, not group sessions, and are confidential.  The Farm Finance clinic gives you a chance to meet with an experienced Ag law attorney and Ag financial counselor.  These clinic staff specialize in legal and financial issues related to farming and ranching, including financial planning, estate and transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, water rights, and other relevant matters.  Here is an opportunity to obtain an experienced outside opinion on issues that may be affecting your farm or ranch.  Bring your questions!

These FREE farm and ranch clinics are being held in:

March Clinics:

Norfolk clinic – Friday, March 3rd

Norfolk clinic – Thursday, March 16th

Fairbury clinic – Monday, March 27th

To sign up for a clinic or for more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline:  1-800-464-0258.

The Nebraska Department of Agriculture and Legal Aid of Nebraska sponsor the farm finance clinics.

Farm mediation                  Legal Aid of Nebraska

USDA is making it easier to transfer land to the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

Key points from the USDA’s announcement concerning the early termination of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts.

  • The goal is to make it easier for the next generation of farmers and ranchers, including family members, to acquire land.
  • USDA technical teams will determine which acres are ready to be productive with minimal impact on overall conservation efforts.
  • If land is determined to be ready a landowner can terminate their CRP contract early without being required to repay all previous payments plus interest.
  • This policy waives repayment requirements if the land is being transferred to a beginning farmer or rancher through sale or lease with the option to buy.
  • By clearing some of these CRP acres from the programs 24 million acre cap the USDA will be able to enroll other land with a higher conservation value.

For more information and details on this early termination opportunity visit www.fsa.usda.gov/crp or read the complete announcement at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/Nebraska/news-releases/2016/stnr_ne_20161230_rel_408.

September Clinic Dates

Free clinics are available through the Farm Mediation program and Legal Aid of Nebraska.   In these clinics, participants can get one-on-one advice from financial and legal professionals about farm transition and financial issues.  The dates for September 2016 are:

Grand Island – Thursday, Sept. 1st

Fairbury – Friday, Sept. 9th

North Platte – Thursday, Sept. 8th

Norfolk – Friday, Sept. 16th

Lexington – Thursday, Sept. 15th

Norfolk – Tuesday, Sept. 27th

Please call the Rural Response Hotline 1-800-464-0258.

Updated June Clinic Dates

Free clinics are available through the Farm Mediation program and Legal Aid of Nebraska.   In these clinics, participants can get one-on-one advice from financial and legal professionals about farm transition and financial issues.  The dates for June 2016 are:

Grand Island – Thursday, 2nd

Broken Bow Workshop – Thursday, 9th

Geneva & Central City follow-up clinic – Friday, 10th

Norfolk – Thursday, 16th

Fairbury – Wednesday, 22nd

Kearney follow-up clinic – Monday, 27th

North Platte follow-up clinic – Tuesday, 28th

Valentine – Wednesday, 29th

Please call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258 to register.

April Clinics

Free clinics are available through the Farm Mediation program and Legal Aid of Nebraska.   In these clinics, participates can get one-on-one advice from financial and legal professionals about farm transition and financial issues.  The dates for April 2016 are:

Farm mediation

Grand Island – Thursday, April 7th

Norfolk – Thursday, April 7th

North Platte – Thursday, April 14th

Legal Aid of Nebraska

Lexington – Thursday, April 21st

Fairbury – Friday, April 22nd

Valentine – Thursday, April 28th

Norfolk – Friday, April 29th

Please call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258 to make and appointment.

What Happens If A Person Dies Without A Will?

Continuing our look at the specific estate and probate planning articles available on the website, today we will discuss the Intestacy provisions in Nebraska.

First, intestacy is the legal term for when a person, hereafter called a decedent, dies without a will.  Intestacy may be complete or partial; some property may transfer, such as property owned in joint tenancy or a bank account with a named beneficiary.

The rules of intestacy are mostly established by statutes enacted by the state legislature.  Those rules, which determine who will receive the property of the decedent, depend upon the degree of the relationship (e.g. child, sibling, parent) with the decedent.

Let’s look at some scenarios and possible outcomes:

Surviving Spouse:

If there are no living issue of the decedent and if there are no living parents of the decedent, the surviving spouse takes everything.

However, if there is a surviving parent(s) or surviving issue, the surviving spouse takes the first $100,000 and half the remainder of the estate.

Alternatively, if there are surviving issue and at least one of the surviving issue is not the issue of the surviving spouse, the surviving spouse takes only half of the estate, without taking $100,000 off the top.

Other Heirs:

If there are issue of the decedent, they take first, equally by representation.  This means if the issue are the same degree of kinship (for example, all children of the decedent), they take equally.  If the issue are different degrees of kinship, they take by representation.  In other words, if there are two surviving children and one predeceased child who had three children of his own, the two surviving children would each receive one-third and the three grandchildren would each receive one-ninth (the predeceased child’s one-third share divided equally among his three children).

If there are no surviving issue, the decedent’s estate goes to the decedent’s parents equally.

If there are no surviving issue or parents, the decedent’s estate goes to the issue of the parents by representation (e.g. brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews etc.).

If there are no surviving issue, parent(s), or issue of parent(s), half the estate goes to paternal grandparents or their issue and half to the maternal grandparents and their issue.  If one side has no relatives (i.e. no grandparents or issue of grandparents) then all of the estate goes to the other side.  The issue of grandparents take equally if they are the same degree of kinship or by representation otherwise.  For example, if the next of kin are an aunt and the children of a predeceased uncle, the aunt would take one-half of the estate and the children of the predeceased uncle would each receive one-quarter of the estate.

Beyond this point, we get into the concept of laughing heirs and if no such laughing heirs exist, the estate transfers to the state.

If you have any further questions, about how to avoid an intestate situation or the probate process in general, please contact us — we’re happy to answer questions!


Right to Partition

In some estate plans, parents will leave the farm or ranch to their children equally or to “share and share alike”.  This means each child receives an undivided interest in the real estate.  In other words, if there are three children, each child receives an undivided one-third share of the farm to “share” with the other two children.  The ownership of the farm then, is as tenants in common.

But what if the three owners of the farm cannot, under any circumstances, get along?  Are there any legal methods to dissolve the tenancy in common?  As tenants in common, each tenant possesses a right of Partition.  Partition is the ability to divide property.

A right of partition can either be voluntary or involuntary.  In a voluntary partition, each owner exchanges deeds, with all owners signing each deed, and each deed conveying to owe of the owners a specific parcel of property.

In an involuntary partition, one or more tenants in common petitions the court to divide the property.  The court made divide the property in-kind or by sale.  A partition in kind is when a court will try to physically divide the property between co-owners.  A partition in kind, however, will not occur if “great prejudice” to any of the owners occurs.  Great prejudice occurs when the court compares the amount an owner would receive if the property were divided in kind and then sold versus the amount received if the entire property sold and the proceeds distributed to all owners.  If the amounts are materially different, great prejudice exists.

The Partition article goes into further depth about the partition process and whether the right to partition may be restricted.  As always, if you have any questions, you are welcome to contact us!