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Estate planning tips for horse owners

Many Ohio residents are also horse owners and have poured a great deal of time, energy and money into their beloved equines. Handling these animals within estate planning can be a challenge, as horses have very specific needs that often cannot be properly addressed by those who are unfamiliar with their care. The best way to ensure a long and happy life for these animals is to create a comprehensive estate planning solution.

In some cases, the best option is to plan for the animals to be sold in the event of the owner's death. This is a good fit for families where surviving loved ones are not equestrians, or do not have the means to care for the animals. Setting up the sale is an important consideration, and many owners choose the auction house or other professional service that will handle the sale once the time comes. That step can help ensure that the animals are placed with new owners who will take good care of them and also brings more money into the estate than a private sale might fetch.

It is also important to consider the other belongings that come with owning horses. Each family will have a different set of assets related to their animals. Some may have a significant number of trophies, training equipment and grooming care, while others may have property such as custom-made saddles and trailers for transporting the animals to shows or other events. These assets must also be included in an estate plan in order to give heirs instruction on how to best handle these pieces of property. Here again, setting up an outlet for selling the assets is one option, as is selecting an organization to receive these items as a donation.

When it comes to estate planning, most Ohio residents focus on providing for their loved ones. In the case of horse owners, that circle often extends to the animals who have brought their owners so much joy. Outlining a plan for the disposition of one's horses and related equipment can bring a family a great deal of peace of mind, both on the part of the owners and the designated heirs.

Source:, "Estate Planning Tips for Horse Owners", Erica Larson, July 12, 2016

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