Estate Planning

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paintponylvr

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Morbid subject - I'm sorry!!

I was wondering what others have planned upon their own passing. Recently, this has been in my thoughts a lot - and both mine and my husband's wills need to be updated. My own family does have horse experience and most know who is who (sometimes), but they do not have the finances to take on our property and ponies should either myself or my husband or (God Forbid) both of us pass unexpectedly. Both my husband and I have separate accounts that could be utilized to help maintain livestock/pets for a short time.

How do you make provisions in your will? Do you do a list of ponies that you have? If so, how do you update it? How often? If you are a breeder and have varying numbers of ponies due to foaling and selling - how do you account for the extra ponies or the leaving of ponies? If a trainer, what do you do?

How do you account for your equipment? Some of ours is expensive and currently well maintained, but value may not be understood. Some would only be horse related (harness, wagon, carts, horse related field implements), some would be general household "stuff" (lawn mower, wheeled feed wagons that can be pulled behind the lawn mower, Cyclone Rake). Some is stored (carts, wagons, field implements) and current costs may not be known since we've had them for quite some time. Other is everyday using equipment that I feel our family members will be able to figure out - as they have time.

I have not kept up on lists of equipment that we have and really need to do this type of inventory listing... LOL. Do you do a video record of your equipment or pictures every so often to show condition at that particular moment? If pics/vid done, how often is that updated? What equipment has some type of serial numbers listed (only our actual vehicles have those - not even our 2 horse trailers have them)?

I really need some ideas. I'd like to make a difficult time a little easier for my children/grand children when the time comes. Hopefully, it won't be anytime soon (and oldest daughter has made it clear she would not be able or willing to take on such a responsibility and that we aren't "allowed" to "leave" anytime in the near future).

A few years ago, my husband and I changed how we did registrations w/i the organizations we belong to - making it possible for either of us to sign paperwork for transfers, new registrations and breeding reports. I have a couple of ponies I need to update still, but the rest and all new registers and transfers are done this way. Not sure how to set up for one of the kids to take over, though, if both of us should go at one time... I guess we could sign some paperwork that they can then copy??

The husband and kids know that I carry all the coggins and rabies paperwork for ponies, dogs and cats in a large (& thick) note book that I keep in the truck. Registration paperwork is kept in another notebook, zippered - so somewhat protected - in our home. Pictures of all animals are maintained on an external hard drive and have lots of them on two different photo album set ups online. Currently, most of our ponies (33 head) wear a collar that has a cattle fly tag with their barn names on them - except for 2 ponies - all have barn names that match up to part of their name on their registration papers, so think that registration papers can be matched to specific ponies. I need to replace both collars and name tags on some and update the tags on others, right now.

I have a lot of individual info on ponies, farrier/vet charts - when due, when done, feeding charts etc on my computer and on phone - both fairly easy to access - confident that hubby/kids can get to that if laptop and external hard drive aren't damaged (vehicle accident or fire). But have not done any type of lists that are printed out and in say a safety deposit box somewhere OR listing in a fireproof box at home...

Pointers, ideas would be helpful for us to bring our own info up to date. To be honest, in all the years we've owned the ponies, we've never had them included or had provisions for their care in our wills. May need to look into a specific lawyer or ?? to do this type of provisioning?????
 

Debby - LB

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That's a very good question I'll be interested in seeing responses. My worry back when I had a herd was someone knowing who my horses were. Over the years it has been so sad to see horses auctioned off by people enlisted to help family..who know nothing about the horses so they are left with trying to match markings and colors to the horse because no one knew their name let alone their registered name. Many, many great horses are sold as grade or sold with the wrong papers when the owner(s) passes away.
 
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amysue

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My husband and I have not gotten all of the items in order yet but we have discussed it at length. It is scary to think about losing each other but even scarier for me to think about what will happen to everything that we have worked so hard for all of our lives and care so deeply about. None of our family members can or will take on the horses and other creatures or handle the responsibility of managing the farm, cattle, crops or equipment. I know they'd all like to get their hands on the real estate as some are sore about how my inlaws divided it up against my husband and his sister. I don't think that I could even dream of asking anyone to just move in and take over, or be left with the responsibility of taking care of it all, but hubby and I work together often and the possibility of something happening to us both is a reality. I have both his and my name on most everything as and/or like horses, trucks, trailers etc. I do keep signed undated transfers with the appropriate registries for each horse in the safe with the papers just so they have them. I have a board in the office with the whole barnyard mapped out with stalls and pens/paddocks labeled with what horse/cow is in one, and update it whenever O rearrange stabling or turnout. Some of my boarders and all of my working students know the horses all by name and know the feedibg routine (which is also on the wall in great detail in case someone else has to feed). Our phone #, the vet's #, the inlaw's # and some students #'s are on that board in case of emergencies too. My father in law still helps out with the cows and field work, so in a s.h.t.f. scenario, he could feed and manage the cattle until more permanant situations could be arranged. As for who gets what...that has yet to be finalized. I have told him that if something happens to me then he should keep only what/whom he wants/can handle and sell or give away the rest. There are a few mares very near and dear to me that he knows I would like given to a very special student of mine who would and could take them in, as she definitely has the means and knowledge /experience. There are two stallions that another student of mine would definitely want, as she works extensively with them, so I told hubby to geld them and give them to her. I have a few that were given to me, and their old owners contact info is with their paperwork and it is kept updated as I keep in touch with them. I told hubby to offer to give these animals back to their old owners if they want them. The rest could all go, and luckily is documented for insurance purposes, everything from tack and equipment to animals, equipment and vehicles. It is all under our special farm package. As for personal stuff...that still needs to be ironed out. I really don't own that much jewellery or valuable things. I told my mother she should look through it and take what she wants them sell, donate or trash the rest. I don't have any kids and do not associate with my father's side of the family, so at least there shouldn't be much fighting over my stuff as there aren't too many people who would fight over it. Hubby and I do need to sit down with a lawyer and iron out the details surrounding the business and realestate, just to make sure that if something happens to one of us, the other is taken care of and if both of us go suddenly, we need to make sure that it goes to whom we decide and it doesn't just get auctioned off. We also have yet to get some kind of life insurance policy, we keep saying we are going to do it but it never happens.
 

7fluffyfriends

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Last year, my husband and myself went through updating our will and learning how to deal with any animals that we may have left at the time. As Marsha stated, a codicil is a possibility here in MN and that is what I need to write up and simply clip to the current will. I did let our oldest daughter know that she is 'it' for the animals. It will be up to her to decide what is in the best interest of the animal, whether to place in a home, or if needed euthanize. I hate to say it, but some, ok, most, of my little herd is either pushing 20 or past it by more than a year or two. There are so many variables in life, as you know, that it seemed most sensible to put one person in charge of the 'zoo'.

The biggest decision, I think, was to say 'no' to any more animals. We have now, one elderly mustang, one middle age mini donkey, and 7 minis. The mustang is close to 30, one mini was born in 1987, one in 1990, and two around 1993. The remaining are all between 10 and 14. In addition we have three cats, and three dogs, again with a variety of ages.

Taking care of and enjoying them is going to have to be enough. It may be possible to outlive most of them, but I understand donkeys can live to be around 50! Holy Smokes! That would make me, well, let's just say, very very very 'venerable'
default_whistling.gif
! In the neighborhood of 110! Can you just imagine!
 

susanne

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In addition to having their paperwork and all legalities in order, it is essential that your next of kin know that your horses and other animals need immediate care. Your parents or children or siblings may be too distraught to even think of your animals or what they need, so be sure to have in writing the name and number of someone who can see to their immediate needs.
 

Marsha Cassada

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Last year, my husband and myself went through updating our will and learning how to deal with any animals that we may have left at the time. As Marsha stated, a codicil is a possibility here in MN and that is what I need to write up and simply clip to the current will. I did let our oldest daughter know that she is 'it' for the animals. It will be up to her to decide what is in the best interest of the animal, whether to place in a home, or if needed euthanize. I hate to say it, but some, ok, most, of my little herd is either pushing 20 or past it by more than a year or two. There are so many variables in life, as you know, that it seemed most sensible to put one person in charge of the 'zoo'.

The biggest decision, I think, was to say 'no' to any more animals. We have now, one elderly mustang, one middle age mini donkey, and 7 minis. The mustang is close to 30, one mini was born in 1987, one in 1990, and two around 1993. The remaining are all between 10 and 14. In addition we have three cats, and three dogs, again with a variety of ages.

Taking care of and enjoying them is going to have to be enough. It may be possible to outlive most of them, but I understand donkeys can live to be around 50! Holy Smokes! That would make me, well, let's just say, very very very 'venerable'
default_whistling.gif
! In the neighborhood of 110! Can you just imagine!
We had a discussion with our boys after we did our will a few years ago. I had to mention my saguaro cactus. Purchased it 18 years ago at the AZ botanical garden when it was 4" tall. They don't even start getting an arm until they are 50 years old. It's not in the will, but I did mention someone was going to have to take it over! Doubt I will live to see the arm...
 

Jean_B

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My husband is not a horse person, and while he knows which horse is which, he has NO clue what to do with them if something happens to me. I have created a spread sheet of each horse, name, description, along with a photo and every time I update it I give it to my daughter. I also include names and contact information for persons who can help her is dispersing them in the optimal way so that the papers go with them without having to run them through an auction.
 

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