Farming or ranching is more than a means of livelihood – it is about preserving a legacy and unique way of life. Unfortunately,
many farmers and ranchers don’t fully protect their legacy with
an up to date estate plan. An out of date or inadequate estate plan could result in a farm or ranch that has been passed down for generations ending up being sold and converted into non–agricultural use. Sadly, farmers and ranchers are not the only ones who avoid making or updating an estate plan – many others, including business owners and parents, also avoid planning, which can cut their legacy short.
In this issue you will learn about three common estate planning mistakes farmers, ranchers, and others make and how you can avoid them.
Lesson #1 – Make a Plan and Keep it Up to Date Like farmers and ranchers, others have complex estate planning needs. For example, you may be a small business owner who has children who want to continue the business and children who do not, or you and your spouse may have a blended family or children with differing needs. This complexity can make it difficult for you to decide what to do, which may result in no estate plan being created at all. On the other hand, you may have taken the time to create an estate plan but failed to maintain and adjust the plan as your life and family have changed.
Planning Tip #1: If you do not have an estate plan, you need to seek expert advice about your planning options and assurance that your goals can be achieved. You will need to work with a team of advisors (including attorneys, accountants, bankers, and insurance specialists) who can help you create a plan that will work for your current situation.