Fiduciary Trust International: “For many people, pets aren’t property—they are members of the family in every sense of the word; providing emotional support, protection and comfort in good times and bad. In return, we give them shelter, affection and a significant amount of financial support. According to a Harris Poll survey, Americans spend an average of nearly $1,500 on essentials such as food, grooming, boarding and trips to the veterinarian’s office for their pets each year. Horses are the most expensive at roughly $13,000 a year. But making financial provisions for a pet who outlives you hasn’t always been possible, at least not formally. Trusts were designed originally to benefit humans or charity, not animals.”
Milwaukee Community Journal: Having a pet is a privilege as well as a responsibility. Some believe that this responsibility is on par to caring for children, especially when they themselves do not have children of their own. In this sense their pet is truly their family and would like to see them taken care of after their death. There are several ways to make sure that your pet is provided for in your will after you pass on.
Think Advisor: Can pet owners claim their dog or cat on their taxes? The answer is yes — but only in specific instances. Embrace Pet Insurance compiled a list of six potential tax deductions for pet owners —though some may have been affected by the tax overhaul. ThinkAdvisor spoke with Leon LaBrecque, managing partner and CEO at LJPR Financial Advisors, about these potential pet deductions and which are still relevant under the new tax law.
The New York Times: “Dr. Barron H. Lerner watched as his family’s pet boxer, Akeela, suffered from an increasingly devastating brain tumor. As the cancer progressed, she often walked in circles and was consistently restless and had trouble sleeping. Dr. Lerner and his family, emotionally taxed watching Akeela suffer, took their veterinarians advice and chose to end her suffering via in-home euthanasia. As a practicing physician, the ability to choose to end Akeela’s suffering brought up thoughts of his oath not to “administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so nor … suggest such a course.”
Student, 21, Flushed Her ‘Emotional Support’ HAMSTER Pebbles Down the Toilet and Drowned It After Spirit Airlines Banned It from Traveling with Her (and Now She’s Suing)
DailyMail: “A student who flushed her hamster down the toilet when Spirit told her she couldn’t fly home with it, is now attempting to sue the airline for causing emotional distress. Belen Aldecosea claims she didn’t have any other options but to kill her pet Pebbles rather than miss her flight back to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in November after staff informed her that rodents were not allowed aboard.”
Daily Mail: “A deceased New York City entrepreneur with a $4 million East Hamptons property left behind a $100,000 pet fund for her 32 cockatiels and detailed instructions in her will about how the birds should be treated. Leslie Ann Mandel, 69, wrote in her will that she wanted the 32 birds to ‘continue to live in the aviary’ in the Hamptons or be taken to ‘a protected place of similar size’ for ‘the rest of their natural lives’.”
Business Insider: “Henry loves fetching his tennis ball and playing tug with his stuffed animals. About 6 years old, the Shih Tzu mix likely has many good years left.
In a way, that worries his owner.
Fern Edson adopted Henry from the PAWS Chicago animal shelter almost four years ago. Her age: 84. “I really didn’t think about the age difference,” Edson said. About 18 months later, “I started thinking about it.”
Edson, whose investment banker husband died 12 years ago, has found peace of mind about Henry’s future, however. She’s enrolled in PAWS’ Guardian Angel pet care program, in which donors who leave bequests to the no-kill shelter are assured it will care for animals that outlive their owners.
It’s one of several ways that pet lovers are making provisions for their animals in the event they precede them in death. In recent years, it has become easier than ever to make estate-planning arrangements for pets.”
Yuma Sun: “When people think of someone setting up a trust for their pet, they might imagine Leona Helmsley’s pet Maltese named Trouble drinking Perrier from a crystal bowl in a lavish Manhattan penthouse. While Helmsley left $12 million to her pet dog, this was not her only bizarre moment. The “Queen of Mean” was known to have many eccentricities.
However, you don’t have to be rich and eccentric to set up a pet trust. Pet trusts are most commonly set up by caring individuals who just want to make sure that their non-human family member is taken care of in the event of their own death or disability.”
KEYTLaw can help you plan for your pet with a custom drafted Pet Trust for $297.
Examiner.com: Within the financial planning world, a key planning goal is to ensure that one’s client does not outlive the assets available to provide for their daily nourishment, shelter, and care. Consequently, I have always visualized retirement and estate plans that focus upon aging women and men.
Needless to say, I was caught by surprise this past week when I learned about the growth of a small niche within estate planning which does not involve aging adults, children, or grandchildren. Instead, it is centered upon providing for the shelter, nutrition, and care of pets after the pet’s owner has died.
For a growing number of folks who are extremely attached and devoted to their pet (or pets), the fear that their own death will lead to pain, suffering, or even death for their pet, leads them to search for a solution that will prevent that from occurring. For such pet owners, the opportunity to create a “pet trust” for the ongoing provision of quality care for a pet after they die is a huge emotional blessing.
Continue reading about not your typical beneficiary.
Plan for your pet’s future with a KEYTLaw pet trust. Read more about pet trusts.
Investopedia.com: Pets have become an increasingly important part of modern life. Many pet owners view their animal companions as members of the family and treat them as such, but it has only been in the last 15 years where pets were given a legal upgraded status. It was 1993 when the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the American Bar Association added Section 2-907 of the Uniform Probate Code to the books. Previous to this the law treated pets like any other piece of property upon the death of their owners. In this article, we’ll show you how to set up a trust for your pets, so that when you pass on, they will still be able to have a full life.
With the adoption of this code, setting up a trust to care for pets became a recognized estate planning technique. Today, the majority of states recognize some form of planning for pets, and more than three dozen states currently have laws on the books about pet trusts. These laws enable pets to become the beneficiaries of your will. (To read more about this topic, see Update Your Beneficiaries, Getting Started On Your Estate Plan and Establishing A Revocable Living Trust.)
The specifics of the law vary from state to state, but the two basic types of pet trusts include testamentary, which is designed to provide care after the owner’s death, and inter vivos, which provides care when the owner is still living but no longer able to care for the animal. Inter vivos trusts can be useful if the owner is incapacitated or living in an assisted-living facility.
Continue reading about planning your pet’s trust.
Futurity: Leaving Fido all your worldly goods may sound like a good way to treat man’s best friend, but what happens to the inheritance after a pet dies is a matter of debate.
The issue has been in the news recently. British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who died in February, left a sizeable sum of money to his beloved dogs—and Trouble, the recently deceased dog of Leona Helmsley, famously inherited $12 million.
It’s not just wealthy celebrities leaving provisions for pets in their wills. Between 12-27 percent of owners do so.
The late, great, far-out fashion designer bequeathed nearly $82,000 to each of his three beloved English bull terriers, Juice, Minter and Callum, “for [their] upkeep and maintenance . . . so long as [they] shall live,” according to McQueen’s hefty, $26 million will, which was made public yesterday.
It’s the same amount that McQueen — who committed suicide last year at age 40 — gave to his godson and each of his nieces and nephews.