Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Estate Planning

If something happens to you what will happen to your horses?

I never woke up that morning thinking that I would nearly die by 7pm.  It had been a regular day at college, I was not feeling great, but I never feel great so I did not think much of it.  After my classes I hop in my truck and drive the 10 miles to see my mare Pie.  I visit with her for about an hour before heading back home to my apartment.  I start the drive back without issue, but mid way through I get very light headed and nauseous.  I pull over and vomited what looked and tasted like blood. I only remember bits and pieces of how I made it back to my apartment.  I regained consciousness long enough to call my then boyfriend now husband, to tell him something was very wrong before I was sucked back into the darkness.  We rushed to hospital where I spent 3 days in the ICU for bleeding ulcers.  I later learned that I was lucky that I stayed conscious long enough to call my boyfriend, as I was so out of it that I never thought to call 911.  I was 21 years old at the time.

Every horse owner should seriously consider what would happen to their horses if they were to suddenly past away.

Horse Estate Planning

1.  Include your horses in your will no matter your age.

2.  If you are lucky enough to have other family members who are experienced in horses, talk with them about your feelings and plans for your horses and horse related property.

3.  If you are not lucky enough to have other horse wise people in your family ask one of your horse friends to help your family with the horse related decisions.

4.  Create a horse binder which carries all veterinary and registration information on all your horses.  If your horses are not papered provide their ages, breeds, and other relevant information. (can also be done for cats and dogs)

5. This day in age very few people have the money, time, and or property to keep one horse let alone 4 or 5 so you may also want to include money for care, well written sale ads, boarding information, and a list of professionals in your area who you would trust to help your family place your horses.

6.  Think about your horse related property and put it in your will.  Who gets the truck and trailer, your saddles, etc.  If you do not have friends or family who could use your horse related property consider making a donation to a local 4-h group or rescue.

While no one ever wants to think about the end, taking time to do so can greatly help your family and friends make the right decisions in regards to your horses. The same can be done for your dogs, cats, and other animals in your life.  

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