PetWill Radio

Friday, April 8, 2011

Furry Beneficiaries

You probably know I'm passionate about pets. Well, I'm also passionate about estate planning for pets. In fact, you can read all about this passion in my book "All My Children Wear Fur Coats- How to Leave a Legacy for your Pet." In addition to some of the suggestions contained in the article below, I recommend considering separating the different roles that might be provided for the pet. You may have caregivers, trustees and an Animal Care Panel (tm) charged with overseeing caregivers and making care recommendations to trustees. I also suggest using a disinterested trustee such as Animal Care Trust (ask me for additional information).

It is good advice to fund your trust carefully despite the fact I don't agree with the Leona Helmsley decision to reduce the amount she left to her beloved Trouble. She should be able to leave whatever amount of money she feels is appropriate to her pet. After all, it's her money, she earned it and paid taxes on it. She should have the ability to decide how it's distributed at her death. We don't limit how much we leave to human children (now there's a novel idea).

Our pets deserve protection both during and after our lifetime. Estate planning for pets is becoming increasingly more popular and attorneys are starting to embrace this idea more fully--especially if they have their client's best interests at heart. And there's nothing closer to my heart than my pets. Happy planning!

Furry Beneficiaries

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