There is legislation currently working its way through both chambers of the Minnesota legislature that would eliminate the requirement that a revocable trust holding title to agricultural real estate register with the Minnesota Department of Agricultural. The Minnesota corporate farm statute limits the type of entities that may legally own agricultural real estate. The statute lists a number of exceptions to the corporate ownership prohibition. One of these exceptions is farmland held by revocable trust. Current law requires the trustee of a qualified trust to file an application with the Department of Agriculture for a certificate of compliance. If approved, the trustee annually must file a renewal application and pay a $15 renewal fee. The pending legislation would eliminate the need for a qualified trust to file for a certificate with the Department. The current legislation as it applies to revocable trusts is nothing more than a revenue raiser for the Department of Agricultural and the adoption of the pending legislation is appropriate and overdue.
If you have questions about this issue or other real estate concerns, please contact Steve Fink at 507-625-2525.