Transferring a farm is a difficult decision for any farmer or farming family to make as it involves so many different factors. Statistically it is known that over half of Irish farmers are over 55 years of age. Some of those have no identified successor but those who have will at some stage have to face and deal with the matter of transferring their farm. Succession ultimately involves the transfer of the ownership and management of the farm but this can be done on a phased basis. The successful management of the succession process should meet the needs of all family members and ensure a viable and sustainable outcome for all the parties concerned. Prior to making what is such a significant and important decision it is important to approach the matter on the following basis:
- Is this the right time to hand over now? Can you afford to do so now, are you ready to hand over part or total responsibility to your intended successor now?
- Obviously this is a matter which should be discussed with your spouse/partner or else with a trusted friend or advisor. Transfers of property cannot be revoked where there are done by Deed except in very limited circumstances.
- Ensure that you consider matters such as
- retaining some assets
- retaining rights of maintenance and support in favour of you and your spouse for the duration of your respective lifetimes,
- reserving an annual payment from the farm to supplement your income,
- making some provision for other family members if required,
- whether you will remain involved in the running of the farm business.
- The taxes to be considered in the event of a farm transfer are Stamp Duty, Capital Gains Tax and Capital Acquisitions Tax (Gift Tax). It is important therefore that an experienced Farm Advisor/Tax Advisor and your Solicitor should be consulted in relation to these taxes.
- Consult your Solicitor and outline your plans as (s)he will offer further advice and assistance and will protect your interests as your successor has to be independently legally represented.
Teagasc are hosting a one day seminar in the Raheen Woods Hotel on Wednesday the 14th of October next with two separate sessions, one commencing at 10.00am and one commencing at 2.00pm. The topic is “Transferring the Family Farm” and our Firm will be represented at that seminar and will be available for one to one consultations dealing with any questions you have on this topic.