The farmer’s wife and the law

Being a farmer’s wife is not always easy or worry-free, but it offers a unique lifestyle and a wonderful environment in which to raise children.

From breeding chickens to helping bale the hay, children learn the value of hard work, earning an income and having respect for others.

Farming does bring some special challenges though to ensuring the financial security of your family.

A balance must be reached between the timely succession planning for the farm and the financial security of your family.

The legal team at Mildwaters Lawyers and our Registered Conveyancer all have agricultural connections and we are well versed in helping others find the balance that is needed.

Talk to us today to find out how we can help.

The farmer’s wife with children under 18

If you are a farmer’s wife and you have children under the age of 18, chances are that you are loving life, but that you are also flat out trying to help on the farm, running around after your children, taking care of all the domestic duties and sometimes even working for an income as well.

It is also often the case that you are living in a house on the farm that you don’t own, that you do not have any assets in your own name and that you may not have thought about the financial security of you and your children.

It may not be appropriate at this stage for you or your husband to have an interest in the farm, but it is imperative that you have some financial security.

Ask yourself the question – if my husband died, would I have the financial ability to buy myself a house and provide for our children without having to rely on the farm giving me the money to do that?

If you answered no to this question, then it is important that you do something about your situation as soon as you can.

There are many ways to ensure that you and your children are financially secure if your husband passed away, including your husband having life insurance nominating you as the beneficiary.

Whatever you do, if you are a farmer’s wife with children under 18 and you don’t have financial security, then do something about it now.

Contact us to find out what you need and how to go about it.

The farmer’s wife with children over 18

If you fall into this category, then hopefully you are in a financially secure position, either due to you or your husband having an interest in the farm or having off farm assets, such as real estate and life insurance, in the name of you or your husband or both.

If you don’t have financial security, we urge you to read the last section about the farmer’s wife with children under 18 and to take the necessary measures to obtain financial security for yourself and your family.

At this point in your life, it is important to do some planning if you haven’t already.

This planning is for your own financial future for the remainder of your working life and beyond.

It is also planning to ensure that the farm is protected for future generations.

Once you have made some plans, we invite you to talk to us to find out what legal steps are required to put that plan into action.

If you are not sure where to start, then we can suggest some options that are available to you in your particular circumstances.

For all farmers’ wives

As hard as it is sometimes, try to make sure that your husband and their family have had the conversation about the future of the farm and where everyone fits into that plan.

We deal with farming families regularly to help them with their planning.

We also help farming families deal with the aftermath of a lack of planning, which more often than not has a devastating effect on the family and the farm.

We have seen family relationships destroyed and farms sold all because proper plans were not made and out of date Wills were left unchanged.

Help your family avoid this devastation by keeping the lines of communication open if you can.

Keep your Will up to date ALL THE TIME

This would be our number 1 rule for all farming couples.

Circumstances on the farm change as the family grows older and so it is important to make sure Wills are changed when needed, to keep up with the changes in circumstances.

We recommend to farming couples that they review their Wills at least once every 5 years.

If this is done, then it will help avoid problems later on.

Our farming services

We offer all sorts of services to help farmers including:

  • Advice and legal planning for the future of the farm
  • Wills, Powers of Attorney and Advance Care Directives
  • Advice on Family Trusts and how they can help
  • Farming leases
  • Sharefarming agreements
  • Agreements between family members setting out a transfer of farming assets (such as land or plant and equipment) in return for various forms of financial security which might include an income for a time, a lump sum payment, a lump sum reserved for payment in future when needed or purchase of a retirement home
  • Setting up companies for trading or as a trustee of a trust
  • Setting up new trusts
  • Mortgages to be registered over the farming lands to provide financial security for the older generation of farmers, securing the income and/ or lump sum payments to be made to them by the younger generation
  • Planning for retirement and other aged care considerations

Contact us today if you are a farmer or a farmer’s wife and need some legal assistance.

If you are a farmer’s wife with children, we recommend that you read our blog Protecting your children to find out how the law can help you to protect your children.