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Can parents define a fair way to divide a farm between their heirs?

The thing that I wondered about when I read your September column (p. 32) is whether Dan was pouring all he could spare from his engineering salary into the farm to help out all along, or whether he was simply enjoying the fruits of his own labor while Rich was doing without to make sure the farm survived?

If Dan did contribute financial support, then the estate division ought to be 50-50 like you suggested. If he did not, he's being selfish and ought to be told so.

Here is my disagreement with your opinion on dividing a farm based on sacrifice: Most people leave a farm because they want bigger and better things when they are young, only to regret it later in life.

Do these decisions justify taking away from the people who stayed and never swayed from an operation, good or bad?

Also, what about the sacrifices made by their wife and kids? What value is put on that?

The thing that I wondered about when I read your September column (p. 32) is whether Dan was pouring all he could spare from his engineering salary into the farm to help out all along, or whether he was simply enjoying the fruits of his own labor while Rich was doing without to make sure the farm survived?

In my September column, I responded to a question about how parents could be fair in dividing the farm between two brothers who took different paths.

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