Farmers proud of family heritage

Date: Sep 30, 2011

In Australia, many agricultural properties have been maintained by a single family for generations - in no small part due to the legacy and estate planning measures put in place by landowners.

In Boorowa, the Farrell family has managed to keep their grazing concern going on the same site for over 150 years.

Traditionally, farming concerns have been passed down through the generations - with a number of methods used to ensure that children or close relatives take ownership of the land when the current operators retire.

In the case of the Farrell's, their legacy can be traced back to convict days, with fore-father Michael arriving in Australia on the Portland in 1833.

After 12 years, he managed to gain a pardon from the authorities, eventually settling down with 48 acres of land alongside the Boorowa River.

Michael Farrell went on to purchase another four parcels of land before he died in 1892.

Today the farm is owned by his descendants who make a living through grazing and shearing - the same activities that have kept the family together for over a century.

While some areas of Australia have experienced a decline in the value of pastoral land in recent years, many owners are not interested in selling.

For some it is the sense of history and generations of pride that makes them feel the need to keep the property in the family.

To this end, some farmers may find that providing a transfer of title deeds through their will can provide peace of mind by detailing how their property is to be dealt with in the event of their death.

Some studies have shown that the latest generation of landowners - the baby boomers - are more likely to feel comfortable engaging with a professional service provider when it comes to matters of personal finance and asset management.

While many farmers born between 1945 and 1964 may be ready to begin considering retirement, the issue of who will take over their legacy is sure to be a pressing one.

To help guide family members and loved ones, these property owners may begin to consider their options when it comes to writing a valid will and testament.

Problems can arise if they leave it too late and their agricultural resources fall to the mercy of the legal system, which may not take into account their wishes in the process.

In these cases estate disputes may arise, causing unwanted friction between family members.