John Buchanan has an article in Central Florida's Agri-Leader which was published on October 24th which discusses the effects of the expiration of the estate tax exemption on farmers.
Many farmers end up loosing farms because of estate taxes and the inability of their families to become liquid enough to pay the estate tax bills. Over the past few years, the estate tax exemption has been high enough that many small farmers have not had to worry about this effect, but that could all change on January 1, 2013.
I was interviewed by John Buchanan about some of the potential solutions that small farmers could use to help insulate against the huge tax changes set to take effect next year.
One solution involves the purchase of life insurance to offset the taxes that will become due. Another solution involves a gifting strategy that takes advantage of the 5 million dollar gift tax exemption that is also set to expire 12/31/2012. There are other strategies, but you should discuss your objective and circumstances with an estate planning lawyer to see which options make sense for you and your family.