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Be wary of unused water rights on a property

A water right can be a key element associated with many Montana properties. It grants the owner the legal right to take a certain amount of water from a specific source, for a prescribed use across a defined section of land. Some water rights have persisted for more than a century, surviving generations of change.

A water right doesn’t simply exist forever though. The owner of a water right can lose it if they’re not careful – creating a potentially unfavorable scenario for a property owner.

Can a negative easement help ease neighborly disputes?

At some point, most people will have a disagreement with a neighbor. For residents of rural Montana, land and home are things of great personal value and pride. As a property owner, you want to be able to enjoy your property the best you can, and sometimes, your neighbors may impinge on your ability to do so.

A Californian resident in 2002 had one such experience. One day, he found that his neighbor had planted a line of trees that perfectly obstructed his mountain view. Naturally he felt that his neighbor shouldn’t be able to do this. But did he have any way to prevent this from happening?

How gun trusts have evolved

Gun trusts are not dissimilar to other trusts – a grantor places property into a trust under the administration of a trustee to be distributed to a beneficiary.

There are differences, however. A gun trust can have multiple trustees and can last more than one generation.

Co-parenting after a divorce requires thoughtful planning

As a parent, the most important consideration in your life is the wellbeing and happiness of your children. While parents will do whatever is necessary to make their child’s life as painless and enjoyable as possible, sometimes life’s challenges are unavoidable. One such challenge might be their parents’ divorce.

Realistically, a divorce will likely change the dynamics of your family in a variety of ways. That said, co-parenting with a former spouse in Montana does not have to be an insurmountable issue, particularly if you put in the work from the start. As you begin to plan for shared parenting after a divorce, consider some important elements and tools for devising a working plan.

What are mineral rights?

Land ownership has been a historical dream for many families of all generations. It is one of the greatest ways to establish a place to call home. Many people earn a living on the land they own and raise their families to eventually own the land themselves one day. But there is a difference between the surface land and what’s below.

Along the surface you may own a ranch, a house and cultivate profits from these properties. However, there might be a treasure of wealth and opportunity that exists below the surface of your land. Do you know if you own what’s beneath?

What to know about finding hidden assets in divorce

Many people in the throes of divorce may be concerned about whether a spouse is hiding assets, especially if the suspected spouse is a C-level executive or runs a number of small businesses.

A suspicious spouse may not have the resources to enlist a forensic accountant or private investigator to root out assets that could legally be considered part of the marital estate. Because of this, it is not uncommon for unscrupulous spouses to provide misleading financial affidavits in the hopes that they can keep more assets that they are allowed.

Can I divorce my spouse with dementia?

Not every spouse can care for their partner with significant medical needs by themselves. Often just the thought of leaving your significant other due to their illness will leave you with a feeling of overwhelming guilt. Remaining with a partner who is experiencing memory loss, disorientation, confusion and behavioral changes is overwhelming. The stress of being the primary caregiver can take a significant toll both emotionally and physically on the spouse who is not incapacitated.

State laws determine how to proceed

You can skip probate on your ranch when you die

Probate can take an enormous bite from your estate – your ranch and other real estate, vehicles, savings, everything. It also holds up distribution to your heirs. Is there a way around it?

There is not just one way – there are a dozen ways or more. It may require an attitude adjustment, but you can sidestep probate entirely.

Keep your legacy and ranch in check with an estate plan

You love your Montana ranch. You take pride in what you’ve built. The ranch is more than a home. For you, your ranch is a way of life. The ranch is a place for family, work and fun. Now you have young ones on the ranch. You want the legacy of your ranch to carry on. You want them to fall in love with this beautiful place just the way you have.

You want them to see the animals and the scenery. You want them to appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to keep the place operating. You even hope that one day your little one will want to be a rancher just like you.


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