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  • Writer's pictureHolly Allison

Should I put my Farm or Ranch in a Trust?

Whether or not you should put your farm or ranch in a trust depends on several factors, including your personal goals and circumstances. However, here are some potential advantages and disadvantages to consider:

Advantages of putting your property in a trust:

  • Avoiding probate: If your property is placed in a trust, it can be passed on to your beneficiaries without going through the probate process, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

  • Control over distribution: By setting up a trust, you can control how and when your assets are distributed to your beneficiaries. For example, you can specify that the ranch is used for a particular purpose, such as a family retreat, or that it only be sold after a certain amount of time has passed.

  • Asset protection: A trust can protect your farm or ranch against creditors or legal claims.

  • Privacy: Trusts are generally private documents, so placing your property in a trust can keep your affairs out of public record.

Mule Deer in the Sandhills of Nebraska
Deer on a Nebraska Ranch

Disadvantages of putting your land in a trust:

  • Cost: Setting up a trust can be expensive, and you'll need to pay ongoing fees for its maintenance.

  • Loss of control: Once you place your property in a trust, you'll no longer have direct control over it. The trustee you appoint will manage the trust and make decisions about the farm or ranch.

  • Complexity: Trusts can be complex legal documents, and you'll need to work with an attorney to create one that meets your needs.

  • Tax consequences: Depending on the type of trust you set up, there may be tax consequences to consider. You'll need to consult with a tax professional to determine the best approach for your situation.

Ultimately, whether or not you should put your property in a trust depends on your specific goals and needs. Consult with an attorney or financial advisor specializing in estate planning to help you make an informed decision.

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