A recent article highlighted the "pot of gold" that many Iowa landowners are sitting on. While the residential real estate market has taken a downturn across the nation, farmland values continue to experience double digit growth in Iowa and surrounding states. The increasing focus and benefits of renewable energy continue to push land values higher and higher.
As a by-product of this increased growth, landowners' taxable estates are increasing, thereby creating potential estate tax exposure for their heirs. There are several methods for landowners to reduce-if not eliminate-any federal estate tax created by the increases in farm values. Many individuals may not consider these issues as farmland values have risen so sharply in the past few years that unless an owner is looking to sell, he or she may not even realize the total value of their taxable estate.