Now available: 18th edition of Farm Estate and Business Planning by Dr. Neil Harl

Farm Forum

Ames, IA and Kelso, WA – This 496 page soft cover book is an excellent guide for farmers and ranchers who want to make the most of the state and federal income and estate tax laws to assure the least expensive and most efficient transfer of their estates to their children and heirs. This book contains detailed advice on assuring worry-free retirement years, using wills, trusts, insurance and outside investments as estate planning tools, ways to save on estate settlement costs, and option for an approach to setting up a plan that will eliminate arguments and friction in the family.

The book contains extensive coverage of current legislation and updates the 26 chapters with recent developments in farm and ranch business planning since the 17th edition was published in 2013. The book is written in easy-to-read language and is designed for use by farm and ranch families.

The book also includes discussion of employment taxes, formation and advantages of use of business entities, federal farm payments, state laws on corporate ownership of farm land, federal gift tax law, annuities, installment obligations, charitable deductions, all with an eye to the least expensive and most efficient transfer of the farm to heirs. Also covered are planning options for dealing with unwanted C corporations; discounting values of farmland during life and at death; the unearned income medicare contribution (the 3.8 percent tax); effects of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill); and dealing with “powers of appointment” in wills and trusts.

Harl, who is retired from the Iowa State University faculty after 40-years service, holds a law degree from the University of Iowa and a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State. He is the author of 29 books and more than 450 publications in legal and economic journals and bulletins as well as more than 1,000 in farm and financial publications. Dr. Harl has made more than 3400 presentations in 43 states and 17 foreign countries and has received more than 30 major awards during his long career at Iowa State.

New for the 18th Edition, the book is available in print and PDF files, readable on all digital devices. The book can be purchased at and

Orders are also accepted by e-mailing or by calling 360-200-5666.