For those of us in the upper Midwest, the news that prices for farmland are soaring isn't new. The Des Moines Register had a great article recently about how soaring prices are affecting gifts of family farmland. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20120115/NEWS/301150059/-1/CAROUSEL/As-farmland-prices-soar-will-family-farms-survive-
The article rightly points out that, without proper planning, chaos can ensue if not all children are part of the farming operation. Soaring prices have greatly complicated things as it increases the burden on the farming children to compensate the others to get control of all of the land. There are some ways to address this issue. Giving the farmland to the farming children in your will while taking out life insurance to pay out to the others is one option. Another option is to place the land and operation in a qualifying entity that will control the land and fairly disperse proceeds. If you have a family farm, consider meeting with an attorney licensed in your state to do what you can now to keep the family farm going after you pass away.