May 31, 2018

Among the unique set of problems farmers encounter, estate and succession planning is often the most challenging. Determining when and how to transfer the farm is a long and not always straightforward process. This can include identifying the farm successor, making decisions about the growth of the farm, venturing into other agribusinesses, and articulating a vision for the future. While these tasks can seem daunting, having a...

October 19, 2017

If the farm land is owned by two separate trusts, under the current law, one of the trusts must lose the Ag Homestead Classification for all the farm land owned by that trust - disqualifying the farmer from using one of the biggest estate tax breaks available for family farms.

February 13, 2017

On January 1, 2017, both the Minnesota and federal estate tax exemptions were updated for decedents dying in 2017. The federal estate and gift tax exemption is $5.49 million per individual (up from $5.45 million in 2016). The Minnesota estate tax exemption is $1.8 million per individual. Minnesota has no gift tax (though gifts made within three years of death can be included in the gross estate). While the federal estate tax i...

October 16, 2016

The attorneys at Ward & Oehler work with small family farms, large commercial farming operations, as well as businesses that support agricultural endeavors.

September 30, 2016

"Death Taxes" Defined.

The term "death taxes" refers to taxes that are imposed by the federal and some state governments (Minnesota included) on someone's estate upon their death. For federal and Minnesota purposes, the term refers only to estate taxes. Some states also have an inheritance tax which is different from the estate tax. Whereas the estate tax is levied based on the size of a person's estate, an inheritance tax is i...

May 23, 2016

As part of the omnibus tax bill, HF 848, passed by the Minnesota legislature over the weekend, the legislature has directed the commissioner of revenue to review the estate tax’s definition of qualified farm property and its linkage to the property tax classification of the property during the three-year period following the death of the decedent. The commissioner is to issue a report to the legislature by February 1, 201...