Estate Planning For Pets

The “Property & Probate” online magazine of the American Bar Association published an article by attorney Stephanie B. Casteel of Atlanta, Georgia, entitled “Estate Planning for Pets“.

Estate planning topics include:

Traditional Estate Planning Options

Outright Gifts
Traditional Trusts
Fiduciaries Terms Distributions Funding Remainderman Identification of Animal
Euthanasia
Charitable Remainder Trust
Statutory Pet Trusts

Federal Law and Tax Consequences

Income Tax
Estate Tax
Here’s an interesting excerpt from the article:

“Pets are valuable members of a client’s family, as illustrated by Leona Helmsley’s $12 million bequest to a trust for her dog, and it is important for the practitioner to address the care of the client’s pets in the event of his or her earlier death. Regardless of whether the client’s jurisdiction has enacted legislation allowing the creation of statutory pet trusts, clients may make outright bequests of their pets to a trusted caregiver or establish a traditional trust for their pets’ care. Many states are enacting statutes recognizing and enforcing trusts the beneficiaries of which are pets. Accordingly, it is important for practitioners to consider the available estate planning techniques and the factors that contribute to a plan that ensures the care and protection of a client’s pets.”

If you would like to set up a trust like this, please call attorney Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259 to discuss it.