sealPurdue News

February 25, 2003

Purdue program helps keep family businesses in the family

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – While many people are busy gearing up for tax season, a Purdue University agricultural economist hopes they also will take some time to look into their estate plans.

"It's important to plan ahead," said Gerald Harrison, a professor of agricultural economics. "Advanced planning assures that family farms and businesses will stay in the family and not be a burden on those who inherit them."

Harrison will present "Estate and Business Transfer Planning for Individuals, Spouses and Family Businesses" in several Indiana counties during March.

"Right now there's a demand for information on estate planning and the federal tax law," he said. "That demand stems from lack of knowledge and misinformation. One important concern is estate tax and what it takes to avoid it."

Harrison's presentation is divided into two sessions. The first covers the basics of planning an estate, property ownership law, wills, probate, federal estate and gift taxes, and Indiana inheritance taxes. The second portion is dedicated to helping people transfer family-owned businesses, especially farms, to the next generation. It covers special valuation of farmland, the new family-owned business interest deduction, estate planning with living trusts, buy-sell agreements, charitable planning and tax issues.

The program is intended for individuals, their spouses and adult children. Professionals who assist others with estate planning also are encouraged to attend. Continuing education credits are available for insurance agents, lawyers, accountants and certified financial planners.

"I hope people come away from this event with ideas on how to transfer the family business to the next generation," Harrison said.

Programs are scheduled for the following locations:

• Feb. 28 – 8:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Purdue Cooperative Extension Service Office, Reynolds, Ind.

• March 11 and 13 – 7-9:30 p.m. Root Building, Rush County Fairgrounds, Rushville, Ind.

• March 13 – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hearthstone Restaurant, Metamora, Ind.

Cost for each program is $20. Spouses may register for an additional $10. Continuing education registration is an additional $40.

Those interested in the Reynolds program should contact Greg Bossaer at (219) 984-5115 as soon as possible. To register for the Rushville program, contact Will Schakel at (765) 932-5974 before March 10. For the Metamora program, contact Ron Larew at (765) 647-3511 before March 10.

Writer: Kay Hostetler, (765) 494-6682,

Source: Gerald Harrison, (765) 494-4216,

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes,;

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