Tag Archives: Trusts

Caring For Your Companion: The Importance of Protecting Your Pet

Picture of ChihuahuaPets receiving an inheritance!  It may sound extreme, but planning for your pet’s future is not about money, it is about security for both of you.  Just as responsible parents plan in advance to appoint a guardian to care for their children, responsible pet owners need to plan in advance for their pets.  If you are a pet owner, you should have two plans in place:

1) If you are unable to properly care for your pet due to an illness or other incapacity
2) If you are unable to properly care for your pet due to your death.

According to ASPCA, approximately 62% of households in the United States have at least one pet.  Yet, only 17% of pet owners have taken legal steps for their pet’s protection.  There are some very easy and cost-effective options which you can take advantage of now.  Don’t delay, your pets are counting on you!

Option 1 (Every pet owner must do this):

Carry a Pet Identification Card with you at all times.  This can either be a physical card that you carry in your wallet or purse, or additional information contained in your I.C.E. (In case of Emergency) contact on your cell phone.  The information on the Pet Identification Card should include:

a) a picture of your pet
b) the pet’s name
c) the location of the pet
d) any special needs of your pet
e) who to contact to take care of the pet.   This card can advise a police officer or other emergency personnel that you have a pet that also needs assistance.

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What Does a Will Do?

Wills can be of various degrees of complexity and can be utilized to achieve a wide variety of family and tax objectives:

  • If a will provides for the outright distribution of assets, it is often characterized as a simple will.
  • If a will establishes one or more trusts, it is often characterized as a testamentary trust will.

Alternatively, the will may leave probate assets to a preexisting living trust, where it is characterized as a pour-over will. Aside from providing for the intended disposition of your property, there are a number of other important objectives that may be accomplished, such as:

  • Designating a guardian for minor children
  • Eliminating the requirement for bond
  • Designating future custodians for minors

For specific questions about drafting a will, please contact our will attorney in Los Angeles today at (818) 501-5800.

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How Does Setting Up a Trust Avoid Probate?

If you do not have a trust there will undoubtedly be a probate proceeding upon your death.  Probate is a court supervised proceeding necessary to transfer your assets to your heirs.  The probate proceeding is costly in terms of both time and money.  Furthermore, all probate proceedings are public record.

Having a trust in place insures a less costly and smoother transition of assets to their designated heirs.

For more information about setting up a trust, please contact our trust attorney in Woodland Hills.

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5 Tips for Trustees (Featured in California Lawyer Magazine)

Trusts have become popular estate planning tools, but they are traps for the unwary, and especially for an uninformed trustee. Whether it is designed to provide for family members, endow a charity, or manage real estate, the person who creates the trust (called the “trustor” or “settlor”) usually has specific wishes and demands and expects that they will be closely adhered to. It is the trustee’s duty to make sure that happens.

Being a trustee can be a thankless job; it can even thrust a person with good intentions into the crosshairs of litigation. If you are asked to serve, weigh your decision carefully – a trustee’s work may become both complicated and contentious. These tips may be helpful.

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