Some of the most important legal documents a rancher can have are the documents that make up the rancher’s estate plan. They are the documents that determine how the ranch will be passed on to the next generation or whether it will have to be sold.
Despite this, many ranchers put off getting estate plans, if they get them at all.
That is unfortunate because estate planning does not have to be very difficult for ranchers if they break the process down into simple steps, as the Huntsville Item explains in “Estate planning and the family ranch.”
The steps are:
- Start a conversation with your family about what to do with the ranch after you pass away. This will help determine which of your relatives might want a stake in the ranch and make sure that everyone in the family is on the same page.
- After talking with your family, decide what your objectives are for the ranch and what you would like to see happen to it.
- Gather all of your important financial documents.
- Choose an experienced estate planning attorney that you are comfortable with and have the attorney draw up an estate plan that meets your objectives.
- After your estate plan is complete, make sure that you keep it updated whenever circumstances change.
A qualified estate planning attorney can help you keep the ranch in the family or otherwise pass without a hitch.
Reference: Huntsville Item (July 31, 2016) “Estate planning and the family ranch.”