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Book details
  • SubGenre:Personal Finance / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:106
  • eBook ISBN:9780999508428

Expect to Inherit a Farm or Ranch?

A How-to Handbook

by Chuck Kuster View author's profile page

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Finally, a practical handbook designed to help aging farmers and/or people destined to become farm executors prepare for estate settlement and property transfer. This 100-page handbook is packed with practical perspectives, watch-outs and useful checklists. Readers learn about the farm estate settlement process, how to secure the estate, how to keep the farm or ranch functioning while the estate is being processed, insights into tenant selection and leases, how to find local technical support, financial forensics, what farm management information will be needed and insights into selling the property. This book will save farm and ranch families time, money and angst.
Author Chuck Kuster planned to write an historical novel based on his Irish heritage as his first post-retirement writing project. After a long career as a communications strategist and technical writer, Kuster thought he was finished with business writing. Then, his father, an Iowa farmer, died and Kuster found himself serving as executor of the estate. "I was around farming and farmers my entire 45-year career. What surprised me was how unprepared I was for the executor role. Had I known what to expect, I would have insisted on sitting down with my aging parents to gather information," says Kuster. Seeking advice, Kuster interviewed friends who, like him, were raised on a farm but sought employment elsewhere. Most shared their own stories of difficulties dealing with estate settlements. "Most farmers have wills and many established trusts years ago. Unfortunately, what happens is the farmers and their heirs assume that all the important preparation is completed once the legal work is signed. That's simply not true. There's all sorts of non-legal tasks to handle," says Kuster. "Preparation ought to start five or so years prior to death, which is difficult to predict, obviously. So start early." Financial, personal and especially farm-related management information needs to be collected. Based on anecdotal information, a farm executor can expect to spend between 500 and 1,000 hours spread over two years to settle the estate. Trillions of capital wealth will change hands over the next decade. "Pre-work, such as described in the book, saves time, money and angst," says Kuster. Such preparation is even more important when there is no local heir to manage time-sensitive business affairs. Recognizing a need, Kuster tabled his novel and penned this how-to handbook to help explain what happens after the death of a farmer or rancher from an estate settlement and property transfer perspective. TOPICS INCLUDE: How to secure farm property How to avoid common mistakes while keeping the operation running during estate settlement Financial forensics tips What farm and livestock management information you might need How to compile a farm estate inventory Farm lease basics How to read a farm appraisal How to get started with a farmland sale The handbook is a quick-read, packed with watch-outs, tips and checklists. Aging farmers concerned their heirs don't know what to expect will find the resource useful. People destined to become a farm or ranch executor will especially find this information a great planning and preparation tool.
About the author
CHUCK KUSTER enjoyed a distinguished career as a communications strategist supporting agricultural, financial, software and energy firms around the globe. His award-winning work includes numerous marketing and strategic communications campaigns, countless magazine articles, media relations handbooks, corporate videos and crisis communications programs. His client list includes Fortune 500 firms but he enjoys working with startup companies the most. He has degrees in agricultural journalism and agronomy from Iowa State University. Kuster draws on his 45+ years of varied experiences and technical contacts in the writing of this guidebook. Now semi-retired, Kuster spends time writing, managing properties, enjoying grandchildren and fishing, all while trying to shorten his belt length through walking and biking. His bucket list includes international travel with Joanne, his lovely wife and business partner and mother of his three grown children. He hopes to write an historical novel next. A banjo gathers dust in a corner of his office.
*Fixed Layout eBook. Will only include a file for Apple devices.
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