Harshbarger Law Firm
The Southwest Montana Law Firm For All Your Legal Needs
Call Today

Keep your legacy and ranch in check with an estate plan

| Aug 15, 2017 | Blog |

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.

Why should you take action now?

Your child isn’t old enough to run the place yet. You still feel great. You aren’t sick and you plan on sticking around for quite some time. Chances are you will raise your child to love the ranch. You will teach them to work the horses, in order to manage the cows. But it is smart to plan for the unexpected. If you and your spouse unexpectedly passed on, what would happen to your child? What would happen to your ranch? You can help take the guess work out of these questions by setting up an estate plan.

What should you think about?

If you want to leave your ranch to your child, you can. You will need to keep in mind the Inheritance laws in Montana. If you passed today, your child wouldn’t be capable of caring for the ranch. They would be able to inherit the property upon turning 18. Until then, an adult must manage the property. As you consider your estate and your wishes, keep this in mind. You will want to pick the proper trustee to run the ranch until your child is of age. You may consider naming a guardian and a trustee to manage different aspects of your estate. Make sure you have a conversation with the candidates you have in mind. You will want to make sure they are willing to take on the responsibility in the event of your passing.

What else should you consider?

You will want to work with a professional. Have them explain how taxes work on inherited property. Fully understand the responsibilities of a guardian. Make sure you’ve discussed your wishes for your child with the candidates you’ve chosen. Consider all scenarios and plan accordingly. Planning for the unexpected can give you peace of mind, so that you can get back out on the ranch and introduce your child to the land, animals and way of life you love.