Source: Oklahoma Farm Report | May 8, 2019
One of the legendary ranches in the Southern Great Plains is the RA Brown Ranch of Throckmorton, Texas. Donnell Brown is a part of the RA Brown Ranch legacy. He has travelled the country speaking to producers about how they can ensure the longevity of their operations using the same thought-processes and strategies his family has done successfully for over a century now. He recently offered a few of those tips in an interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.
According to Brown, the best advice he can offer upfront is simply to get started – don’t put off the inevitable – start the process now.
“My parents were so progressive in starting their estate planning back when I was in high school. Now, we’ve got to start doing the same thing with our kids and I feel like I’m ten years behind,” Brown said. “I think it’s never too early to start a solid transition to keep the ranch in the family and the family in the ranch. I encourage all families to start that conversation because we never know when our time is going to come where the Lord is calling us home.”
Beyond that, Brown says it is important to include the right people in your estate planning when it comes to who will make decisions, carry certain tasks out and simply offer seasoned advice on how to navigate the process. This starts at home with the parents, he says. Both patriarch and matriarch should be involved in this process.
Brown says his mother was instrumental in the transition his family went through, remarking on the valuable insights that she brought to the table throughout the ordeal from her perspective as a woman. The other key player to recruit, Brown says, is a good accountant or lawyer that knows and understands the laws and how to use them to your advantage.
“I think it’s important to find that really good accountant or tax person that knows those laws because those regulations change and the government is trying to get as much tax dollars from us as they can,” he said. “So, let’s find a professional that knows how to best make that generational transfer with the least tax consequence because that Estate Tax or Death Tax can be brutal. So I say, find a professional you can trust and understands your business and get started.”
Listen to Brown share more of his advice to Hays about estate planning for a farm or ranch business, on the May 8, 2019, Beef Buzz podcast, below or click here to read and listen on the Oklahoma Farm Report website.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Check out their archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.