Doug Butler PhD, CJF, FWCF
Butler Professional Farrier School
Each one of us needs to face the fact that we are not going to live forever. We don’t know when our number will be up. Are you prepared for this eventuality? Are you at peace with yourself and your God? Have you conveyed your feelings of affection to those that are close to you? Have you taught your children life skills? Have you done your homework and put your financial affairs in order? Have you made arrangements to provide for your family’s maintenance in your absence? Have you made a document that spells out your wishes including the passing of your possessions to those who will cherish them? Have you done or are you doing all the things you promised yourself you would do with your life?
First and foremost you should have in place a document that expresses your wishes for the dispersal of your property. A will can be holograph in form (meaning it can be handwritten) or typed. It must be dated and properly witnessed and filed where it can be found at your demise. Wills in most states must go through probate. This takes time, involves attorneys, and may cost as much as 10% of your estate’s value. A better way to pass on your property is through a revocable living trust. This is more complicated and costs more initially, but is likely to cause less stress on your executor and cost much less when administered. You can save your family pain by getting your affairs in order early.
Check with the most successful people in your community. Chances are they have their estates set up in a revocable living trust. Go to an attorney recommended by a successful person you respect and trust. Do not use lawyers that advertise and are unknown to you or your trusted associates. Other important legal documents, such as a living will and durable power of attorney that state your wishes if you are incapacitated, can be completed at the same time as the trust. Be sure you have adequate health and life insurance. A competent financial adviser can be most valuable to help you make these important decisions. However, unless your experience is different than mine, you may have to kiss a few frogs to find a prince.
I, like you, want to enjoy my property during my lifetime and want to arrange to pass it on to my family with the least possible loss in value. This National Network of Estate Planner’s statement could have been written by me – “I want to control my property while alive, take care of my loved ones and myself if I become disabled, and upon my death, give what I want to whom I want. And, if I can, I want to save every last tax dollar, professional fee, and court cost possible.”
I am deeply saddened when I hear of farriers (and others) that unexpectedly have passed away and leave their families devastated because they failed to plan for the future. When we fail to plan – we plan to fail. Don’t put off doing what you can do now to assure a good life after you’re gone for those who depend upon you for their physical and spiritual support. You will enjoy a greater peace of mind if you make preparations now for the eventual time when you will no longer be here. This requires planning and commitment to do what needs to be done BEFORE the benefits are needed.
Butler Professional Horseshoeing School
495 Table Road
Crawford, NE 69339
If you think you want to become a farrier (or know someone who does), this book can help you make that decision. Horse owners will learn the importance of choosing a qualified farrier and how to select the “right” one.
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