Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Sunday, July 14, 2002
Remembering Our Pets
One of the most complicated areas of our profession deals with estate planning. This is the one area where competent professional assistance is essential because there are so many variables to address and it is so easy to permanently screw everything up.
For those of us without any human offspring, the main issue is who to leave our worldly possessions to. If we have non-human companions (aka pets), how do we make sure that they will be cared for after we leave? While many people may ridicule this idea, I am glad to see more people taking formal legal steps to establish trusts to see that there are resources available to care for the surviving pets.
The biggest concern is with a conflict of interest with the remainder heirs, who are named to receive the remaining estate after the pet passes away. How do you protect against those heirs speeding things along?