Oklahoma is home to many farmers and other business owners. Owning a business can impact how you approach estate plans, especially when it comes to passing on certain aspects of the business legacy to heirs. Here are three questions business owners and farmers should consider when completing an estate plan.
A top priority for any estate plan is selecting an executor. The executor's role is to ensure that the transition of the estate is as smooth as possible. Choose someone you know will understand your wishes and who you trust to obey both the spirit and letter of those wishes in the most appropriate manner.
You should also consider the ability of the executor when making this decision. The person you select must have both the time and capability to deal with your estate. Someone who is embroiled in their own business battles or who lives thousands of miles away may not be the best choice, for example.
When looking for an executor, you might also consider who you want to name as health care power of attorney should you be unable to make decisions for yourself later in life. The power of attorney and executor don't have to be the same person.
Do you know what your estate holds? Consider the size and complexity of it. Larger estates require different measures to protect against taxes, for example.
Finally, consider how you want to pass items and assets on. Some items of sentimental or other specific value might be passed directly to certain people through a will, for example, while the total estate is bundled and divided among all heirs.
Source: Farm Futures, "Your Most Important Estate Planning Questions, Part One" Rich Dunn, Aug. 01, 2014