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Painter and Associates Blog

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National Farm Safety and Health Week Carries Important Message

This year National Farm Safety and Health Week is September 16th through the 22nd.  The purpose of this week is to recognize the hard work, diligence, and sacrifices made by farmers and ranchers (http://ocj.com/2018/09/ohio-farm-safety-stats-setting-a-goal-for-zero-fatalities/). 

Every day Ohio's farmers and ranchers put their lives at risk when working with large equipment and various livestock.  In fact, statistics from The Ohio State University Extension Agricultural Safety and Health Program show there have been 128 fatalities of Ohio farmers between 2007 and 2016, and 56% of those fatalities were the result of tractor, equipment, machinery, wagon, and livestock incidents (https://agsafety.osu.edu/statistics).  These statistics do not include farmers that have been temporarily or permanently disabled as a result of a farm related accident.  

Tragedy does not discriminate.  The Ohio State University State Safety Team offers research-based safety education programs, demonstrations, and publications to educate those in the industry about injury prevention and life-saving information.  While education should be the first step to prevention, it should not be the last.

What happens to your operation if you are seriously or fatally injured?  Do you have a succession plan in place?

Contact Painter & Associates to help you navigate the estate planning process and build a succession plan that fits your needs.  

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Farmers, Start Planning Now to Defend Against Estate Taxes

With debate continuing over current plans for tax reform, an old nemesis for farmers is also being debated:  The Estate Tax.  

Farmers operate under a unique and challenging set of circumstances unlike those of any other industry.  The Estate Tax is one of those factors that makes operating a farm, and passing it on to younger generations, such a challenge.  Under the current tax code, and as farmers are land rich and cash poor, the Estate Tax may force a family to sell certain assets (land and equipment) to have cash in order to pay the Estate Tax bill so the next generation can continue the farm.  Over time, this unfairly penalizes farmers for their hard work and puts unnecessary pressure on future generations.

In order to avoid the Estate Tax and other taxes, farmers should look into estate planning devices to prevent or lessen the burden that a death of a loved one or business partner may have on a farming operation.  Such estate planning devices include trusts, life insurance, and gifting of assets to others.

In addition, farmers should consult an attorney and an accountant about using pass-through business entities, such as a Limited Liability Company, so that operations can continue uninterrupted and assets protected from liability and, potentially, Estate Taxes.  

Painter & Associates, with attorneys that come from an agricultural background, understand the unique needs of farmers and their families.  We can assist your family or business to preserve and pass on your farm, and all your hard work, to succeeding generations or business partners.

Also, Painter & Associates urges Congress to reduce the individual tax rate for those farmers, continue to allow farmers to use cash-accounting, keep step-up in basis on assets after death, immediate expensing, business interest expense deduction and decreases to the capital gains tax.

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Nathan D. Painter founded Painter & Associates to provide legal services he believes every client deserves: access to large-firm experience and talent with a highly personalized approach that keeps each client’s individual legal needs top of mind.


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