Author: Michael Baron

Will the New Presidency Effect Estate Taxes?

Dear Michael: We have been watching the election – like everyone else – and think maybe now would be a good time to see what President Trump does before we complete our estate planning. We have heard there are not going to be any more estate taxes, so we needn’t worry about this in the future. What other good things have we got coming under the new administration? – Looking Forward Dear Looking Forward: I think many good proposals were put on the table during the election process. Promises of lower income taxes, repeal of Obamacare, estate taxes being...

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Transition Planning Does Not Have To Be Complicated

Dear Michael: We wanted to write and thank you for the article your wrote titled “Don’t Complain About Farmers With Your Mouth Full“. It’s about time someone explained that subsidies aren’t making farmers rich – they’re to keep farmers in business to produce the most valuable commodity in the world – food. This benefits not just farmers but every time people go into a grocery store to buy food – having a willing and able workforce to provide low-cost food items. We’ve had four generations on our family farm, each one taking over from their father or their father’s...

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When a Testamentary Trust in Your Will Makes Sense

Dear Michael: We are ‘in between’ parents in that we have some older children – not interested in farming – and we have some younger children of which one or two might be interested in farming. They are still in middle school, however, so it’s hard to say what direction they may go. We don’t have a will at this point in time. We kind of thought we knew how life was going to go, but the older children surprised us by not wanting to farm. The younger children are much more involved in FFA and other agriculture pursuits...

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Couple Asks What Happens to Their Assets if They Die Without a Will

Dear Michael: We’ve talked about putting together an estate plan for years now, but the kids keep changing their minds, we keep putting it off, something else always comes up, etc. Mostly, we just don’t know where to begin on the process and don’t know what we don’t know. What are the laws if one of us or both of us die without having a will? – No Plan – No Plan Dear No Plan: Well, that’s a very simple question with a very complicated answer based on you and your husband and your children and whether or not...

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Don’t Complain With Your Mouth Full

Mr. Baron: In your last column, you were advising a couple how to get on Medicaid? This couple had sold their farm to their son. What happened to the money? Why didn’t they buy nursing home insurance with it? How much did taxpayers already subsidize the farm operation when they were farming? I would suggest this couple, their children and you should be ashamed of themselves. – Tommy Stiles, Henning, MN Dear Mr. Stiles: When people write to me and ask me what are the rules of Medicaid, I tell them what the rules are. Nothing more and nothing less. It’s like when you go to your CPA for your taxes and he tells you about dependent deductions, home interest deductions, etc. Or do you prefer to pay the full amount and not take any deductions as the law allows? Are you ashamed for following the law? I explained to them what the law allows, as per Medicaid guidelines and as the laws are written to this point in time. It’s not up to me to judge other people’s actions. I merely explain the rules. I don’t advocate anything. Second, when the son bought the place, he bought it on a contract for deed. Most people – in lieu of receiving rent – sell their farms to their children. However, without rent, the obvious answer to your question of...

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