Saving the Little Guy: Estate and Inheritance Taxation on Generational Farmers and Ranchers



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Estate Planning and Community Property Law Journal


This comment will explore the current and future legal issues arising from estate and inheritance taxes on generational farmers and ranchers. Initially this comment will explain how estate and inheritance taxes are calculated and to whom they apply. Additionally, this comment discusses the timeline for estate and inheritance taxes as well as the effect on ranchers and farmers. In particular, several case examples are presented of ranches and farmers losing their property as a result of these taxes. Ultimately, this comment will propose permanent legislation in order for generational farms and ranches to be exempt from paying estate or inheritance taxes. There have been forms of permanent legislation implemented by states to create a tax exemption for generational farmers, ranchers, and other small businesses. The utilization of this method to create legislation at both the federal and state levels would ensure the ability of farmers and ranchers to pass on their property to future generations, thereby ensuring that land used for farming and ranching production of necessary agricultural commodities is not sold off as a result of crippling taxes. Temporary solutions such as legislative exemptions with expiration dates or other means of avoiding estate and inheritance taxes do not solve the problem but actually create uncertainty within the Agriculture community.



Generational farmers, Generational ranchers, Federal estate tax, State inheritance tax, Tax liability, Family farms and ranches, Estate planning, Transition planning, Intestate succession, Tax exemptions


13 Est. Plan. & Cmty. Prop. L. J. 1