Agriculture is often viewed as both a business and a lifestyle, a vocation where its practitioners generally consider themselves caretakers of the family legacy. Utilizing the tools to ensure that the birthright is financially healthy, structured to provide for the owners in good health and bad, and passed on according to the wishes of the owners is the purpose of estate planning.

This special issue is intended as just a starting point for your family discussion on the estate-planning subject. Its aim is to inform readers on the need for such planning, familiarize them with the process and provide a few tips and tools available in estate planning and transfer.

Estate planning isn't a do-it-yourself project. While it's advisable to educate yourself on the need, the process and the tools available, it's important that trained and knowledgeable professionals be utilized to ensure your plan is thorough, feasible and will accomplish your goals.