Making a will for farming families

Whilst everyone should have a will, this becomes more important for those in the farming sector. Especially given the valuable assets that you may own, including any business interests.

Farming is still one of the most dangerous professions in the UK, and therefore it doesn’t matter how old you are, you should put a will in place.

Having a will ensures that you have control over what happens to your estate when you die, rather than leaving this to chance.

What is a will?

A will is a legal written document that specifically includes instructions as to who you would like to appoint to administer your estate (executors), this can include guardianship clauses for any minor children, and specifies to whom you wish to leave your assets to in the event of your death.

Without a will, the estate will be dealt with under the rules of intestacy. What you have worked for and built up during your life may not end up with the people you wish it to. Unless you plan carefully for the succession of your farm or business your family may find that they do not benefit fully from the inheritance tax reliefs available and end up paying out more tax than is necessary. 

Before you ask us to act for you, there are a number of decisions you need to make such as:

Who will benefit from your will?

It is important to know that choosing the right person to be the executor of your will, will ensure your wishes are carried out after your death.

If you have children under the age of 18, who will look after them? In this case, you will need to ask the person you appoint if they would be willing to care for your children if the unthinkable happens

Who is going to be your executor – the person who will carry out the terms of your will? See our guidance on choosing the right executor

And what will happen to your estate if the people you want to benefit from your estate die before you do?

Making a will is a relatively simple process, especially when you are guided through by a qualified wills lawyer.

Why do I need professional advice when making a will?

Wills for farming families are rarely straight forward. There are often multiple family members running a business, with different ownership between different parcels of land. It is vital to ensure that you legally dispose of all your assets appropriately.

Part of the process of making a will would also include reviewing partnership agreements and title deeds. This is to ensure that the correct position of the assets is ascertained, as well as ensuring that the terms of the partnership agreement and the will do not contradict each other in any way.

Why should I use Birkett Long to make my will?

At Birkett Long, we have a dedicated Agriculture and Estates team which specialises in dealing with the affairs of farming families. We understand the working practices of the farm, the needs for this to continue, even after death, to preserve assets for the future generations.

To help you protect your assets, we can help you with the whole package from wills and codicils, estate planning, lasting powers of attorney and statutory wills for Court of Protection patients.


For your own peace of mind, and that of your family members, give us a call on 01245 453830



Birkett Long’s expert team includes members of Solicitors for the Elderly and the Society of Estate Practitioners (STEP), which means we are committed to treating clients with dignity, respect and sensitivity, and to avoid unnecessary legal terminology.

Many of the firm's staff have chosen to become Dementia Friends, an initiative run by Alzheimer's Society. Alzheimer’s Society hopes to create 4 million Dementia Friends by 2020. 

One of our lawyers, Liz Jones, is a Dementia Champion for Alzheimer's Society, meaning she can give talks to create Dementia Friends. It is not just an individual that is affected by dementia, it touches family and friends too. 

If you are planning ahead for a loved one and need any legal help we are focusing on becoming a Dementia Friendly firm and are here to support you as well as your loved ones. 



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