Any divorce has the potential to be fraught with complicated issues and challenging emotions. However, spouses with family businesses, farms, ranches, and similar entities often face even more difficult conundrums, given that these are certainly not liquid assets and in many cases, owners may be reluctant to sell to split the profits. Itâs advisable to turn to a family lawyer serving Wichita for expert legal guidance regarding asset protection. If you work with a family lawyer prior to becoming married, you may be able to ensure that some of your assets will not be subject to division in a future divorce.
One of the ways your family lawyer might protect your assets is by establishing a domestic asset protection trust. This type of trust is commonly used in estate planning; however, it also protects against asset transfer to creditorsâincluding a future spouse. This entity is also a âself-settledâ trust, which means you can name yourself as the beneficiary. In the event of a future divorce, the assets within that trust are protected against division. However, laws regarding these trusts vary from state to state. You can consult an estate lawyer near you for personalized legal advice.
Running a family farm or ranch has become increasingly difficult in light of environmental disasters, low profitability, high property taxes, and unfavorable laws and regulations. To ensure the success of your agribusiness, you can turn to an agribusiness lawyer in Wichita, who can help you sort through agribusiness law . One of the many difficulties your agricultural lawyer can help you overcome is unfair property taxes. If you believe your property taxes are far too high, youâre certainly not alone.
Valuations and Assessments
One of the reasons why so many agribusiness owners turn to an agricultural lawyer is because of unfair valuations and assessments, which can lead to unjustly high property taxes. Given the vast amount of land that county appraisers must assess, itâs no small surprise that errors do occur on a frequent basis. An agricultural lawyer can help you determine if your assessment should be adjusted based on many factors, including the amount of land you have and where itâs located with regard to average rainfall.
Property Tax Abatement
Some agribusiness owners may be able to obtain a property tax abatement, which is the elimination or drastic reduction of property taxes for a set number of years. The property tax abatement may involve the total amount of land, buildings, and improvements, or it may involve a partial amount. Generally, a property tax abatement can remain valid for up to 10 years.
Senate Bill 178
All agribusiness owners should consult their lawyers regarding changes that may occur in the event Senate Bill 178 is signed into law. The bill was recently introduced in Kansas by Sen. Jeff Melcher (R-Leawood), who wants agribusiness owners to be taxed in the same way as owners of any other type of property. If this bill had been introduced earlier and had been passed in 2014, agriculture land values would have been raised by 473 percent, according to the Salina Journal . Given the importance of agriculture to the Kansas economy, opponents of the bill state that it would be significantly detrimental to agribusinesses and Kansas as a whole.
Estate planning is an essential process for ensuring that your heirs are provided for and that your wishes are carried out. Itâs advisable to seek the counsel of a family lawyer serving Wichita for legal guidance regarding estate planning. An estate lawyer can help you learn of strategies for minimizing the tax burden on your heirs, for example. Your family lawyer can also make arrangements for your care later in your life in the event that you become incapacitated. By working with a family lawyer with experience in estate planning, you can establish an advance directive or revocable living trust.
For more information about the ways in which a family lawyer can help you build a secure financial future, watch this video. This financial advisor also explains what to watch out for when considering trusts.