There are many people who consider their pets as family members, so they often wonder whether it’s possible to leave money or property to pets in a Will. According to Curry Popeck, Solicitors, gifts that you make in your Will must have an identifiable human beneficiary, so, therefore, you cannot directly leave money and property to your pets.
Instead you can leave money in trust, for the purpose of caring for your pets. You will need to appoint a person or persons to use the money however they see fit, to care for your pet according to your wishes.
To make your wishes clear, you can even leave a Letter of Wishes setting out how you’d like the money to be spent for your pet’s benefits and how you’d want your pet to be taken care of. However, the amount you leave needs to be ‘appropriate’ and according to your pet’s life expectancy and needs, state CurryPopeck Solicitors. If you do want to leave a large amount to your pet/s then it is advisable to put a clause in the Will stating where any left over money should go if the entire amount is not spent before your pet dies. Donating the leftover money to an animal charity would be a fitting tribute to your furry friend. Legally enforceable documents are the only way to try to ensure that your pet will be cared for according to your wishes. The case of Leona Helmsley’s pampered Maltese ‘Trouble’, who inherited $12million from the real estate billionaire is an interesting example:
Hotel heiress Leona Helmsley, who died in 2007, cut her two grandchildren out of her will and evicted her son’s widow after his death, making her Maltese her biggest heir, leaving a $12 million trust fund for the pooch. However, a judge later determined the inheritance excessive and knocked the pup’s inheritance down to $2 million.
Trouble took the money and retired, flying by private jet to the Helmsley Sandcastle hotel in Sarasota, Florida after Helmsley’s death and was cared for by Carl Lekic, the hotel’s General Manager. He cared for the dog and spent hundreds of thousands on her care annually, including $1,200 on food, $8,000 on grooming and $100,000 for full-time security. Security was necessary as Trouble became the target of great vitriol, receiving 20 to 30 death and kidnapping threats.
According to the law experts at Curry Popeck, a pet trust is still uncommon, but it does make sure that your pets live a good life even after you are gone. A trust gives this assurance by having different people in charge of overseeing different aspects of the pet’s care.
If you too are a pet parent and are concerned about what would happen to them after your death, the expert solicitors at Curry Popeck can provide you with some sound, practical advice so that you can rest assured about your pet’s future.
For more information visit Curry Popeck at- http://www.currypopeck.com/.Curry Popeck provides a broad range of services including wills, powers of attorney, probate, tax planning, estate administration and matrimonial matters as well as legal advice on various other areas of law.
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