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Andrew Jenkins of Wansbroughs

Farming is a legally complex business, finds new report

Just how complex and difficult it can be to run a farm is highlighted in the latest annual Farming Update from Wiltshire law firm Wansbroughs.

Besides having to raise animals, grow crops and survive the British weather, the average farming family also have to deal with the complex issues which surround a business which may cross generations and provide a home.

The annual Farming Update highlights difficult or new areas of law or taxation which farmers need to be aware of.

The 2014 issue looks at the difficult situation faced by farmers looking to pass on their business to their children.

“Succession planning for famers has always been important,” said Andrew Jenkins, partner and head of the Agricultural team. “Farmers are in a unique position when looking at retirement and succession, with their homes, incomes and business liabilities all focussed on the farm.”

“The issues can get even more complex when faced with some children wishing to remain in farming, whilst other siblings may want to retain an interest in the farm, whilst pursuing another career.” 

Wansbroughs helps a growing number of farmers and estate owners dealing with all the issues relating to the increasingly complex business world that is farming. “Partnership agreements can provide clarity on how succession, divorce or a changing focus to the business can be dealt with.

“Careful inheritance and trust planning can also help minimise costs following death or retirement. If farmers make any new year resolutions, it should be to review and confirm how their business is structured,” said Andrew.

So, although dealing with wet summers, wetter winters, animals and crops may continue to cause problems, the message from the latest Wansbroughs Farming Update is that careful planning can at least let them focus on being farmers.