Farming and Agriculture
Buying a farm for the first time? Selling a large property? Farming and agriculture transactions have their own specific requirements depending upon the nature of the business in issue.
At Peter May McAuliffe Legal, we have solicitors who have their own extensive farming involvement and understand the types of issues that are commonly encountered in these types of businesses. Understanding those issues is essential to ensuring that the legal requirements are adequately addressed for the protection of our clients.
Purchase & Sale Agreements
Purchase and sale agreements of farming and agricultural businesses must address a wide range of specific issues.
If you are buying a property with stock, who keeps the stock? What warranties are made in respect of stock that you are acquiring and whether or not they are fit and healthy? Are there environmental issues that need to be addressed? If you are buying a cropping property or a vineyard, are the properties compliant with regulations for the use of chemicals? Is there an offtake agreement in place that can be transferred to you as purchaser?
Understanding these issues and ensuring that they are adequately investigated and documented are key to ensuring the viability of your business. At Peter May McAuliffe Legal we have an in depth understanding of these issues and experience in how best to deal with them for the appropriate circumstances.
Unfortunately we are often called upon to assist our clients with resolving disputes where they have not been properly legally represented at the time of entering into these transactions. Many of these disputes could have been avoided by proper advice and preparation prior to entering into the transaction.
Our experience leads us to the firm opinion that these types of transactions should be left to experienced solicitors. Often clients attempt to save on the costs of these transactions by undertaking them themselves or with the assistance of unqualified persons and that experience inevitably leads us to conclude that this is a false economy potentially leading to substantial losses.
Clear advice and planning is required for all of these transactions, no matter how straight forward it otherwise appears to be.
Restructures can occur within families and farming partnerships for a range of reasons. Often it is generational succession. Unfortunately in many occasions it is also matrimonial breakups or disputes within families. Disputes also occur where parties have conducted themselves without documentation regulating the relationship and misunderstandings often arise.
These types of circumstances lead to the need for family farm restructuring. Such restructuring can have serious consequences for stamp duty and capital gains tax.
At Peter May McAuliffe Legal we have a detailed understanding of the taxation arrangements that are involved in these restructuring processes and we can guide you through the process and prepare all necessary documentation to minimise the incidence of taxation.
Orderly succession planning is essential for family farms. Many farms in the South West of Western Australia have been in families for generations. It is not always the case that those who stand to inherit will wish to continue the farming business.
At Peter May McAuliffe Legal, we understand the special relationship between farmers and their land and the need to ensure safe and secure succession to those within the family who will care for and maintain the family farm for generations to come.
Careful planning and documentation at an early stage can avoid some of the pitfalls that arise if these matters are left to being dealt with as a consequence of death. Planning for the next generation now enables an orderly transition from generation to generation.
Many farms are operated in farming partnerships between partners. Commonly within families, parents will farm with their children.
Unfortunately we regularly see disputes arising in these arrangements.
Disputes often arise through misunderstandings. A father may promise the back block to his son or daughter if his son or daughter assists him with the management of the farm over a period of time. Expectations can change. This often occurs with re partnering.
These problems are easily avoided. The best means of avoiding them is to ensure that the relationship is properly documented from the outset. Over the life of the relationship other changes will occur as the particular circumstances of the members change. Regularly reviewing the arrangements and re documentation will save much heartache by potentially avoiding disputes that can occur.
At Peter May McAuliffe Legal we are quite familiar with the type of disputes that occur within a whole range of different farming operations and agricultural businesses. Let our solicitors assist you in identifying the problems that could occur and agreeing a resolution of the respective rights of the parties from the outset. You can then get on with your farming or agricultural business without having to worry about what might happen in later life.