Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version

February 2007


Published in Cornhusker Economics, 02/07/2007. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Nearly everyone agrees that it is important to plan for the future. Why, then, do less than half of all farmers and ranchers have an estate plan? Many will say it is just too complicated so it gets put off until…well, later or maybe never. Farm and ranch estate planning can involve some rather complicated concepts. Attorneys and other estate planning professionals spend a lifetime honing their skills and evaluating various estate planning options. Should a trust or a will be used? What about a corporation or an LLC? Should we have a durable power of attorney and an advanced medical directive? Most farmers and ranchers will never become experts in estate planning, nor do they want to. However, it can be very beneficial for producers to have answers to a few fundamental questions to get the process started.