Statistics show more than 60% of Americans don’t have a will, which the AARP points out jeopardizes the future of their estate. Each year that slips by without a will or estate plan increases the risk of the farm or ranch, and its assets, ending up in the hands of someone other than your family. The AARP’s Sean Voskuhl said to ensure that does not happen, you must have a good estate plan.
“No one needs to be afraid to talk about these things. In fact, talking about estate planning helps protect your estate and its assets you’ve worked hard for. The lack of a will or estate plan can potentially leave estate decisions after death in the hands of judge, and nobody wants that. A good estate plan can keep the farm or ranch in the right hands and thriving for generations to come.”
AARP has several tips to starting and maintaining your estate plan. Voskuhl said it starts with considering your goals.
“Figure out what you feel is the best plan for your farm or ranch in the next generation. Consider ownership of the land and assets and communicate your intent to your family members. And, good record keeping helps. Make changes to your estate plan as life changes for you and your family, including marriages, or even divorce, additions to the family, serious illnesses and farm operation changes.”
Voskuhl said there are other factors to consider, such as taxes, medical care, and even retirement goals. For tips and ideas where to start, visit AARP’s Website.
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