Estate Planning, Wills & Pet Trusts

Estate Planning, Wills & Pet Trusts – The Dog Lawyer – Richard B. Rosenthal Esq.

Deciding what will happen to your home, your financial assets, your pets and your personal possessions after your passing can be a difficult process. However, if you don’t take the time to make these decisions now, a court may end up dividing your property for you.

 

 

Take Control of Your Assets

Instead of leaving such important decisions to the courts, get the assistance you need to make wise decisions concerning your estate by speaking with Richard Rosenthal. Richard is dedicated to helping you through every step of your estate planning, and is prepared to assist you with such legal services as:

  • Drafting a will
  • Creating a trust to care for your pets
  • Creating a living trust
  • Creating business, education, retirement, and other trusts
  • Drawing up health care and general powers of attorney

The decisions you make regarding your estate determine how your property will be divided and what estate taxes will need to be paid after your passing. Be sure that your wishes are carried out by consulting with Richard today.

 

Pet Trusts

 

Many people are concerned about what will happen to their birds, dogs, cats and horses when the are no longer around to care for them. New Jersey is one of a few states that recognize Trust Instruments for the care of companion animals. These trusts can be funded through a Last Will and Testament, and administered by a designated Trustee of the client’s choice. This provides clients with the peace of mind of knowing that their beloved companion animals are happy and in caring hands, long after they are gone.

Lawyers for pet trusts ensure that these trusts are given the same due diligence expected from trusts set up for families. Animal law attorneys can frequently handle these cases, as well as pet custody lawyers and animal rights lawyers. Our firm is experienced with pet trusts and can help you to establish one for your animal companion that is legally ironclad and not subject to any outside influence after your death or should you become disabled. New Jersey is one of the 27 states that allows pet owners to set up trusts. Legislation is pending in other states that will allow them to set up pet trusts as well.

Designated caregivers are usually set out in a pet trust, as well as a separate trustee to administer the trust. A certain amount of money is then made available to a company or designated caregiver for food and anything else that your pet may require. Pet trusts, although they are frequently portrayed as otherwise by the media, are a very compassionate and responsible way to ensure that your animal companion is well taken care of after your death. More than 500,000 pets a year are put down after the death of their owners. Owners frequently assume that friends or family will take care of their pets, when this is just simply not the case.

Pet trusts can become more of a necessity if you are dealing with an animal companion with a larger than average lifespan, such as a horse. Boarding fees, veterinarian bills, and other incidentals are usually provided for in such a trust, set up by animal law attorneys.

Conditions can be placed on the trust which only allow larger sums of money to be withdrawn from the trust to be paid directly to veterinarians or other professionals that may require a larger outlay of cash for their services. A monthly stipend of cash is usually given to ensure that the care and feeding of the pet is attended to on an ongoing basis.

The duration of the trust is typically the lifetime of the pet. You can also set out critical illness decisions for your pet, such as at what point you want the trust to stop spending money on procedures. It is also important to both pay a small salary to the caregiver if you are using an individual caregiver, and make sure that they know that the bulk of the trust is to be donated to your favorite charity in the event of the death of the animal.

Animal rights lawyers and not estate lawyers are generally better at pet trusts because they understand the underlying issues. Pet trusts are a newer practice area for estate lawyers and they may not be afforded the attention that they require if not handled by animal law attorneys. Pet trusts may also need more finesse than a typical trust; if the amount left in it is too large, it may be contested by the family members. An animal law attorney can help you sort out what that amount is.

 

The 3 Documents Every Person Should Have

 

Every resident of New York should have three important and inexpensive documents: a Last Will and Testament, a Living Will and a Durable Springing Power of Attorney. A free consultation will give you basic information about your needs.

Last Will and Testament

This document tells your Executor how to dispose of your property after your death. In a Will, you can also name a Guardian for your minor children, a Trustee to manage any trust created under your Will, including trusts for pets or minor children, and you can specify burial plans. Gina is one of the more experienced lawyers for a last will and testament in New York. While a will may be easy to draw up on your own, you may not know some of the legal ins and outs that Gina does that will protect your wishes legally in the event of your death.

If you have a will that hasn’t been updated in the last decade or more, bring it in for an evaluation and update by our experienced estate attorneys. The more current your last will and testament is, the less likely it is to be challenged after your death.
Wills are not just for the rich. Anyone with a home or business should strongly consider investing in a will to protect both your business and your loved ones.

Living Will

Most people have specific wishes regarding when medical treatment should be withheld. Unfortunately, an accident or terminal illness can render you unconscious and unable to inform your doctors of your wishes. A Living Will (also called an Advanced Health Care Directive) is a document written while you are healthy and competent. It tells your doctor how you wish to be treated in the event of a fatal or debilitating illness or condition that renders you unconscious or incompetent. A Living Will takes the pressure and agony of these decisions out of the hands of your loved ones. Talk to Richard about your wishes to find out if a living will is right for you; as one of the more informed estate planning attorneys in New York, he’ll be able to give you an ironclad document that will address all of your needs.

You should be considering a Living Will if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with any terminal illness. A Living Will is a good idea at any time but the increased risk that such an illness can bring makes a Living Will all that more necessary. Having a Living Will in hand will give you and your family piece of mind in the event of any medical emergencies that leave you incapacitated.

Durable Power of Attorney

From time to time, you may find the need to have someone else sign a document, an instrument or a check on your behalf in accordance with your wishes. Perhaps you cannot attend a closing. Perhaps you are out of town when a bill comes due. A durable power of attorney is an instrument that gives someone else the power to carry out your wishes. A “durable” power of attorney is one that does not expire if you are disabled or incompetent.

Durable powers of attorney can be dispensed to close friends or family members so that your affairs can be managed in your absence. Our firm will tell you exactly what the holders of your power of attorney will need in addition to the document itself in order to properly conduct your affairs while you are in absentia.

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