It is undeniable that farmers make up an important segment of American society. They provide the nation with a reliable food source, allow us to avoid reliance on foreign food imports and also give us the means to import food products of American manufacture. In addition, farming is a cultural tradition, one that is passed down over countless generations. However, operating a farm in Florida or elsewhere has numerous uncertainties, making it one of the most challenging career choices available. One expense that can have devastating consequences to family farmers is the estate tax.

Some experts are worried that farmers will be forced to sell their farms due to the potential increase in the estate tax. This increase may occur if Congress does not act to stop it. Ninety-seven percent of commercial farms are family-owned, with many of those farms run by Americans 65 years and older. These farmers are worried about how they will be able to pass down the farming tradition to the next generation without also passing a huge tax burden that can threaten the asset that they have worked so hard to build.

The House has passed legislation to solve the problem with the estate tax; however, it is now up to the President and the Senate to decide whether or not to put a long-term stop to the increase in estate tax. Although many agree that comprehensive tax reform is the best solution, they also realize that certain issues, such as the current estate tax crisis, require immediate action. Many critics are calling for a permanent solution to the situation.

The estate tax is one of many issues which individuals in Florida and elsewhere must consider when planning how to distribute an estate. It is important not to procrastinate in planning an estate, since nobody can predict when a death or injury leading to incapacitation may occur. It is also imperative to realize that there are a number of creative estate planning solutions that can be employed to make the best out of current estate laws. With proper planning, individuals can ensure that their assets are passed on to their loved ones in the manner in which they intend, and with the smallest tax burden possible.