The objectives for clients who are in the agricultural and rural communities can differ from those in other areas. As such, our agricultural department has a number of lawyers who specialise in succession planning and the preparation of Wills for farming families, and ultimately the administration of farming estates.
The Agriculture team here at Butcher & Barlow are aware that many farmers and landowners have particular issues with regard to inheritance tax and in particular wish to ensure that their land and property will qualify for Agricultural Property Relief (APR).
Our specialist team can advise upon the requirements for qualifying for APR and the best arrangements for including the farmhouse and any other properties in that Relief. However, diversification (such as renting out the farm buildings or land for non-agricultural purposes) may mean that APR is lost, in which case our Team would look as to whether or not Business Property Relief (BPR) is available as an alternative.
Many owner-occupier farms operate as a partnership. In these cases the objective in trying to ensure that one child continues to have a viable farm, but wanting to be fair to their siblings, places great importance on workable succession solutions.
Our Agricultural lawyers have experience in advising in relation to transfers of property and land, and the creation of Farm Business Tenancies, with the associated tax implications, although we would always recommend taking specialist tax advice from your accountant or financial adviser.
We also suggest that Lasting Powers of Attorney are entered into and executed as part of the wider planning process.
Wills can be very flexible and, depending upon the assets in the estate, we can suggest a number of options, including the right to share in future development schemes and values which may meet individual clients’ requirements.
Negotiations with HMRC following death requires careful management, and we have solicitors who have experience in negotiating for Agricultural Property Relief with HMRC. The successful outcome of these negotiations may make the difference to the farming business continue if it does not have to find the funds for an overwhelming tax burden.