New publication discusses wills and trusts

By Robert Moore, attorney and research specialist for the Ohio State University Agricultural & Resource Law Program

A common question regarding farm transition planning is: “should I have a will or trust for my plan?” Like most legal questions, the answer is “it depends.” Sometimes a will is adequate for a plan while other plans should include a trust. Knowing which you need requires an understanding of wills and trusts and the factors that should be considered when deciding which to implement.

A new publication, Is a Will or Trust Better for Your Farm Transition Plan?, discusses the differences between wills and trusts and provides nine factors to consider when deciding which to use for your plan. The factors to consider are:

  1. Legal fees
  2. Complexity of the plan
  3. Probate
  4. Concerns about heirs
  5. Second marriages
  6. Transition of farming operation
  7. Taxes
  8. Privacy
  9. Control.

The publication analyzes each factor and how it relates to a will and trust. After reviewing the factors, an informed decision can be made regarding implementing a will or trust into a farm transition plan. This publication is part of an extensive library of farm transition bulletins and publications available at

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