Articles Tagged with Pet Trust

2.4.20A will or trust explains what you want to have happen to your assets when you die, hopefully in a very, very long time. While most people understand that a will explains what to do with money, property, and children, there are other parts you might be surprised by.

MSN’s recent article entitled “3 surprising things you might not think to include your will” tells about three things to include in your will that you may not have thought about before.


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5.25.17Britney Spears five dogs enjoy the same quality of life as she does, but without a pet trust, if anything happened to her, their lavish lifestyle would be at risk.

Pet trusts are no longer the exclusive province of the rich and famous, but a recent article in Trust Advisor reports that while Americans spend lavishly on our pets, they are still considered property and don’t have legal status or protection. According to “Britney Spears Pet Fetish Feeds New Estate Planning Craze,” whether you’re talking about protecting Britney’s pampered pooches or just an average American pet, you’ll need a pet trust to protect companion animals, if you become incapacitated or pass away.

While most of us want to ensure that our pets have loving care, rumors of the expense of Britney’s dogs gives us a view of some of the upper limits—or lack thereof—of how much modern pet pampering can cost. Britney spends about $30,000 a year on her dogs. This is enough to support over 100 typical American pets. One haircut for one of her dogs would feed an average animal for a year.

Family with dogPam Miller, founder of a no-kill cat shelter and adoption agency, encourages pet owners to include family pets in their estate planning process.  As part of her daily routine, Miller brought two cats to her shelter just days before their owner passed away so that they could find new homes, as described in The (Raleigh, NC) News Observer, "Providing for your pets after you're gone."

Caring for and finding new homes for the pets of the recently departed is something SAFE Haven does frequently, but there must be a plan and funds set aside. It takes planning and resources. Many folks make assurances that their pets will be cared for after their owners pass. After a loved one's death, with so many things to do, it's easy to forget about the pets.

Put a card in your wallet detailing how many pets you have and their location. It should include the contact information for your pet’s veterinarian, their favorite pet sitter, and a trusted friend to whom you've spoken about caring for your pets if something unfortunate occurs. If you want to do this and leave a trust for your pets, speak with an estate planning attorney.

Pampered dogSam Simon,  co-creator of The Simpsons, was a devoted owner of his rescue dog, Columbo.  And Columbo has enjoyed sitting in the lap of luxury.  One of Columbo's monthly bills was for acupuncture treatments, twice a week, at a monthly cost of $3,640. That was just one of his regular medical and therapeutic treatments.

Simon passed away earlier this year after a struggle with colon cancer. Most of his fortune was put in trust to be used to promote animal rights. Columbo, however, was given over to Tyson Kilmer, an animal trainer and Simon's friend. Now Kilmer and the trust that Simon created are in a bitter dispute over money to pay for the dog's care.

Kilmer claims that he needs $140,000 a year to maintain the same treatments that Simon gave Columbo. He claims that the trust refuses to give him the funds. The trust has a different story.

Puppy"Pet trusts aren't just for the wealthy," says Frances Carlisle, a trust and estates attorney in New York. For most pet owners, she adds, the goal "is to make sure a plan exists for the care of the animal."

Do you own a pet? It seems as though more and more people are taking in pets these days. In fact, from 2010 to 2012, the number of pet-owning households increased from 62% to 68%. Consequently, more pet owners are taking their beloved pets into consideration when it comes to their estate plans.

Maybe you have heard the term “pet trust” before. Even if you have, The Wall Street Journal has provided the latest information on planning for your pet and some noteworthy statistics in a recent article titled “More Americans Are Writing Their Pets Into Their Wills.

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