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California is fortunate to have some of the world’s most productive farmland. Many of the businesses in the Central Valley that provide dairy, fruit, and nut products are still family-owned. Each one has unique family and business-related issues that require thoughtful planning to address and solve.

Grant Hinkle & Jacobs is proud to have assisted several prominent family-owned agri-businesses with different aspects of their planning, including business succession, key employee retention, and estate planning. This experience has helped our firm become known as one of the leading resources for clients in this specialized area.

Case Study #1

A walnut producer was owned by several members of the same family, ages 40 to 60. Grant, Hinkle, & Jacobs helped design and fund a business succession plan that ensured that there was adequate cash available to the owners to repurchase stock at time of retirement or death of another shareholder.

Case Study #2:

A family-owned lettuce producer employed a non-family member CFO and several top sales people. The owners needed to find a way to attract, retain and reward key employees but were reluctant to give up their shares to non-family members. Grant Hinkle & Jacobs helped design and fund a customized incentive program that provides key employees with meaningful non-equity retirement and death benefits, paid only after they meet individual goals described in the program (e.g.: typically tied to longevity, productivity, profitability, etc.).

Case Study #3:

A dairy producer was owned by multiple members of the same family. Payment of Federal estate tax by the heirs would be due within nine months after the passing of an owner.Liquidity is limited and the heirs would have to quickly sell assets and/or redirect significant cash flow from the business in order to pay the estate tax. Grant Hinkle & Jacobs arranged for the client to purchase enough life insurance inside a special tax-favored trust to immediately cover the projected tax liability at death, and did so using borrowed premium dollars to preserve current cash flow.

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