(KXNET) — An unlikely source is spreading the word on how to make sure your farm stays in the family.

An attorney from German Law, a North Dakota law firm, aims to discuss ways to preserve wealth for future generations, minimize estate taxes, and avoid probate — from making sure family or friends take over and maintain the assets to prevent your family from arguing over the division of the farm.

“If we don’t have them done properly,” explained German Law Attorney, Jogn Oelke, “assets may not necessarily go to the child that’s going to take over the farm or business. They’re going to go to everyone, and can be split up to a point where the farming child doesn’t have an opportunity to continue that farm into the future.”

Oelke says keeping assets in the family can be difficult, especially when you have to sell off land in order to cover other expenses. But one way to make sure nothing happens to your possessions is to make sure you have an estate plan in place.

“An estate plan is just how you want your assets to go to the next generation,” Oelke added. “If you don’t have a next generation that you want to send it to, you can also designate a charitable organization or whoever you want to take care of in the future. It could be a will, or it could be a trust. The state actually has one set up for you in the statutes called intestacy if you don’t set one up yourself.”

Oelke says there are only about 17% of farms nationwide that have an estate plan in order.

While putting together one of these plans seems like a daunting task, you don’t have to do it all alone. There are seminars that talk both to farmers and local business owners that can help make sure you have everything in order and know what you need to do before you step into an attorney’s office.

“These sessions will help you know what issues you’re going to face and know what’s important to you,” continued Oelke, “and when you go into an attorney’s office, you can direct the conversation instead of shooting from the hip.”

These seminars are free and are usually held in the winter when farmers have more time.

If you are interested and want to make sure you don’t miss the next seminar, visit the German Law website.