The American culture is one in which animals are considered pets instead of livestock. As such, the majority of American households consider an animal to be part of the family. Collectively, Americans own almost 80 million dogs and cats, with over 60 percent of all households owning a pet of some type. Most animal owners understand that pet ownership involves a tremendous amount of responsibility for the pet. To make sure that all pet owners keep that in mind, “Responsible Pet Owner’s Month” is … [Read more...] about Pet Owners – February Is Responsible Pet Owner Month
An Aurora, Indiana woman recently made an unusual request in her Last Will and Testament – a request that has turned into a national debate on social media sites. Among the terms of her Will, Connie Ley asked that her German shepherd, Bela, be euthanized and buried with her. At the time of her death, Bela was a healthy nine year old dog, causing her request to ignite a heated legal and moral debate over her right to make the request. While you may not have any desire to make such a request in … [Read more...] about Is Your Pet an Estate Asset?
For most people the primary goals of an estate plan are to provide the framework for the division of estate assets upon death and to provide for family members and loved ones upon death. If you have a pet (or two) that you treat as part of the family, has it occurred to you that your pet should be included in your estate plan? Legally, your pet is considered your property, meaning your pet should be included in the division of your estate assets. For most people estate planning is about … [Read more...] about Free Report: Including the Family Pet in Your Estate Plan
According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are just over 86 million owned cats in the United States. One in three households in America includes at least one or more cats as part of the family. Unlike dog owners who are more likely to only own one dog, cat lovers, on average, own at last two cats. If you are a cat lover, have you given any thought to what will happen to your cat when you die? As a general rule, people who own cats consider them to be part of the family. Some … [Read more...] about What Will Happen to Your Cat When You Die?
It is always interesting how the laws in different countries can be so similar and yet so different at the same time. In estate law, most European countries have fairly similar laws to what we have in the United States. We can read their laws and read news stories about estates in European countries and have a good idea of what is going on. But, there are always important differences. For example, in Italy a wealthy woman recently left her entire estate to her dog. Italian law, however, does … [Read more...] about Leaving Money to Your Dog
Do you have a pet you want to ensure has a good home and are well taken care of following your passing? Be aware that such provision allowances vary from state to state. While many pet parents view their pets as they would their own children, provisions for pets fall into a completely different category. Pet owners value the idea to provide care and comfort similar to children, but laws dictate that they be treated as possessions in some states. Based on the residence of the pet owner, … [Read more...] about About Estate Planning for Pet Owners
There is no question that our pets often become a major part of our family unit. Because of this, pet planning has become a critical part of the estate planning process. When you think forward to the future, it is important to make sure that your pet is also considered during that process. While we would all like to think that our family and friends would step up to take care of our pets after we die, you don't want to leave anything to chance. If you happen to pass away before your pet, … [Read more...] about Pet Planning: Should You Set Up a Trust?
Karel Fortyn was 52 when he died of a stroke in early May. He was a life-long lover of reptiles, and he’d built a business around them: Fortyn was the owner of the Seaway Serpentarium in Ontario, Canada. The Serpentarium, operated out of Fortyn’s home, boasted a collection of more than 200 snakes and other reptiles – many of them rare species. Aside from his collection of reptiles, Fortyn left behind a former common-law wife and a brother, but, unfortunately, no Will. Now, his brother and his … [Read more...] about An Unusual Example of the Need for Estate Planning
What is your plan for taking care of your pet after you’ve passed away? If you are thinking about establishing a pet trust to ensure your pet is well cared for, there are some things you’ll need to let your pet’s guardian know. For instance: Your Pet’s Habits and Quirks You and your pet share a home, so you’re well aware of its feeding schedule, when it needs to go for a walk, and what its favorite toys are. You also know how to deal with your pet’s quirks, whether they include a morbid fear … [Read more...] about What Your Pet’s Guardian Needs To Know
Sometimes, our pets can seem so much like our children that it’s hard to remember they’re not actually people. And when it comes to estate planning, it’s easy to make the mistake of treating a pet like a person by including Fido or Fluffy in your Will, and leaving property directly to him or her. The problem with this is that, in the eyes of the law, pets are property themselves, so you can’t leave property to them. There are two ways to provide for your pet after you’re gone. 1. Leave … [Read more...] about Estate Planning Mistake: Leaving Money to Your Pet