Making a Will and estate planning is important in any family but it is especially important in farming families and for people who own rural land and/or agricultural businesses.

Your farm may have been in your family for generations, passing through many dedicated and hardworking hands before coming into your care. However, passing it onto the next generation is not as simple as a promise. There are many legal and tax-related matters to navigate. For example, did you know that you may be able to get relief from Inheritance Tax when passing on agricultural property?

How we can help

Here are Stephen Rimmer, we work with families across East Sussex and the wider South East of England to put in place a tax-efficient estate plan that fully reflects your wishes for the future of the farm and agribusiness.

We also:

  • Help families talk about estate planning – we know it can be difficult to discuss the eventual passing of a beloved family member, but having these conversations now could prevent family-splintering disputes from arising in the future.
  • Help people with probate and estate administration involving farms, farmland, agricultural businesses and rural property after the death of a relative or friend (including where there is no Will).
  • Help people resolve inheritance disputes involving farms, farmland, agricultural businesses and rural property. For example, if you spent time working on someone’s farm for reduced wages on the understanding that you would inherit it, only to be passed over, you may be able to make a legal claim.

Why choose Stephen Rimmer for agricultural estates advice?

Our Private Client team is headed by Joe Richardson, a Partner and highly skilled Solicitor. Joe is supported by an experienced and dedicated team, including Nicholas Manning, a Consultant Solicitor and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

We understand that while these matters often involve business interests, the issues involved are often very close to the hearts of our clients. We are here to provide support and a listening ear to help make the experience as smooth and stress-free as possible. 

Book a free 30-minute consultation with our agricultural estates solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

We offer a free, no obligation 30-minute chat with one of our specialist agricultural estates solicitors to all new clients.

To arrange your initial consultation, you can:

Our agricultural estates planning services

We can help you carefully plan for the future to ensure that your agricultural and rural interests are passed on as strategically and tax-efficiently as possible.

Whether you plan to retire soon or you are starting to think about what will happen after you pass away, we can help you work through all the considerations and put in place a strong plan to secure your estate for the next generation. Our expertise includes:

  • Making a Will
  • Updating Wills and adding codicils (additions to Wills)
  • Succession and inheritance tax planning, including taking advantage of various reliefs and exemptions such as Agricultural Property Relief and Business Property Relief
  • Powers of Attorney for farmers and agribusiness owners, including Lasting Powers of Attorney, Ordinary Powers of Attorney and registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney
  • Setting up and managing trusts involving rural and agricultural assets
  • Other agricultural property matters, such as planning and agricultural tenancy considerations
  • Other agricultural business matters, such as incorporating businesses, partnerships and employment matters

Our agricultural estates administration and probate services

We have experience handling probate and administration of agricultural estates. There are many vital considerations that must be taken into account when administering an estate involving rural and agricultural assets, such as:

  • The value the farm and/or rural land itself, both in terms of market value and agricultural value
  • Tax implications, including the applicability of Agricultural Property Relief or Business Property Relief

We can provide practical advice to personal representatives, i.e. executors under a Will or administrators (if there is no Will). Our team understand that losing a friend or relative is one of the hardest experiences a person can go through. We are here to provide emotional support as well as tailored probate services.

For general information, visit our probate and estate administration page.

Our agricultural Will and inheritance dispute resolution services

Dealing with the death of a relative is hard enough, so when disputes arise over their Will or in relation to probate and inheritance, it is common to feel overwhelmed. Our team includes solicitors who are skilled in handling contentious probate matters, including disputes involving agricultural estates. Our expertise includes:

Inheritance claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

We know that when business and family are so intertwined, it is common for family members to financially rely on each other. So, if you are left out of a Will or not left as much as you need by someone you depended on, it can be devastating.

We can help you make a claim for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance Act, including providing honest advice about what making a claim entails, negotiating with other parties, and providing robust representation during any court proceedings.

Will challenges

There are a number of reasons why a Will may be invalid, including:

  • It was not executed properly – e.g. it was not signed or witnessed
  • Undue influence – the testator (person who made the Will) was forced or coerced
  • The testator was not of sound mind when they made the Will, e.g. because they had dementia
  • Fraud or forgery

We can assist with all types of Will challenge, with specific experience handling challenges involving farms and agricultural assets.

Intestacy disputes

We can assist with all disputes arising out of intestacy, i.e. where the testator did not leave a valid Will.

Proprietary estoppel and disputes over interests in land and property

It is common in agribusinesses for family members to work together to run the business. Often, a family member may sacrifice their own opportunities to work on the farm on the understanding that they will one day inherit it. To later find out that the owner of the farm has gone back on their promise can be heart-breaking and frustrating.

If someone has broken their promise to you – for example, you have been left out of a Will or someone has said they no longer plan to leave you the assets they promised they would – we can help you make a legal claim.

Probate disputes

We can provide expert advice to executors, administrators and beneficiaries about the administration of a deceased person’s estate. For example, where the executors have mismanaged probate, such as selling assets at an undervalue or failing to pass on your inheritance properly.

Speak to our agricultural estates lawyers in Eastbourne and Hastings

We offer a free, no obligation 30-minute chat with one of our specialist agricultural estate solicitors to all new clients.

To arrange your initial consultation, you can:

Our wills & probate team

Contact us for a free 30 minute interview

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