FAT CATS & LUCKY DOGS: How To Leave (Some Of) Your Estate To Your Pet

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9780966431353: FAT CATS & LUCKY DOGS: How To Leave (Some Of) Your Estate To Your Pet

Treated like members of the family, pets are increasingly included in their owners wills often much to the dismay of human relatives who find themselves snubbed in favor of the deceased s four-legged best friend. Recently, heiress Gail Posner left a $3-million (all figures U.S.) trust fund and her $8.3-million Miami Beach mansion to her three dogs, Conchita, April Maria and Lucia. (She also left $27-million to her maids, bodyguards and personal trainer.) Her only child, who received $1-million, is challenging the will in court. While eccentric millionaires go to extremes, making sure your pets are cared for after you die is becoming more common. Fat Cats and Lucky Dogs is intended to be a vehicle for sharing information and ideas; for providing guidance to those who would like to explore various possibilities; and for stimulating pet owners to take action while they are able to do so. Planning in advance for a pet s well being if a pet s caretaker becomes incapacitated or they predecease them is essential. Fat Cats and Lucky Dogs addresses this important topic for everyone concerned with a companion animal s care and for all animal lovers and serves to provide this valuable information to all those who want and need it. Barry Seltzer (a practicing lawyer with 30 years experience in the area of estate planning) and Professor of Estate Law Gerry W. Beyer are both animal lovers and hope to encourage as many people as possible who care for pets to ensure they plan and provide for their pet s (and their family s) well being before they are not able to do so for whatever reason.

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About the Author:

Barry Seltzer B.A. LL.B,TEP (Estate Planner) has practiced law for nearly three decades in Toronto in his preferred areas of private practice estate planning, estate administration, business succession planning and elder law. A frequent television and radio guest in Canada, the United States, England and Australia, he also co-authored several other books and produced the audio series The Real Property Law Primer. He has lectured at many colleges, universities and institutions. Professor Gerry W. Beyer J.S.D., LL.M., J.D., B.A. (Professor of Law) specializes in estate planning and teaches courses such as Wills and Estates, Trusts, and Estate Planning at the Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock, Texas. He joined the faculty in 2005 as the Governor Preston E. Smith Regents Professor of Law. He is an acknowledged expert on estate planning for pet owners and the author of a large number of articles and papers on the subject.

Review:

Pets are becoming more important in our lives. This is borne out by recent research, which shows that 75% of American dog owners view their animals as family members and more than 50% of cat owners feel the same. About 20% of pet owners have actually changed romantic relationships because of disputes over pets. Nearly 40% of pet owners carry pet pictures in their wallets and more than 30% have taken time off work because of sick pets. A majority of pet dogs and cats sleep indoors, most on their owner's bed or on a blanket or pet bed. A recent survey revealed that more pet owners would rather be stranded on a desert island with their pets than their spouse. If our pets are important to us, we owe it to them to do what they cannot - ensure their well-being when we are no longer able. Fat Cats and Lucky Dogs explains in detail how to do just that. --Audrey Albert

Attorneys in some United States jurisdictions report that, when asked, 90% of their pet-owning clients want to make provisions for their animals, either through trusts or some other mechanism. Several years ago, the American Animal Hospital Association conducted a survey of 1,019 pet owners to determine the role their pets played in their lives. Some 57%said they would want a pet as their only companion if they were stranded on a deserted island; 55%considered themselves a parent to their pets; and 80% selected companionship as the main reason for having pets. In 2003, a Kentucky woman went to jail for 30 days rather than obey a court order to turn her two cats over to her ex-husband. FAT CATS AND LUCKY DOGS covers all this and more. It is serious but peppered with interesting stories and animal factoids that will amaze you. --Amir Fishman

Attorneys in some United States jurisdictions report that, when asked, 90% of their pet-owning clients want to make provisions for their animals, either through trusts or some other mechanism. Several years ago, the American Animal Hospital Association conducted a survey of 1,019 pet owners to determine the role their pets played in their lives. Some 57%said they would want a pet as their only companion if they were stranded on a deserted island; 55%considered themselves a parent to their pets; and 80% selected companionship as the main reason for having pets. In 2003, a Kentucky woman went to jail for 30 days rather than obey a court order to turn her two cats over to her ex-husband. FAT CATS AND LUCKY DOGS covers all this and more. It is serious but peppered with interesting stories and animal factoids that will amaze you. --Amir Fishman

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