Leslie Ann Mandel really loved her cockatiels, all 32 of them. She loved them so much that she mentioned every single one of them by name in her will. Mandel even put $100,000 into a trust for their care and left detailed instructions about how to care for them. She appointed her stepson as the trustee and he is now responsible for the birds.
The Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog wrote about this story in a recent article,”Deceased Millionaire Leaves $100,000 To A Pet Trust For Her 32 Cockatiels.” It is not at all unusual that a wealthy woman might establish a trust for the pets she leaves behind nor should the large amount of money for for their care surprise you. Of all the pets we love, birds have the longest lifespan; parrots can live 70 years or more!) Pet trusts for our companion animals are becoming very common as state laws changed to make them possible. Americans love their pets almost as much as their own families.
The only way to ensure that your pets receive the same care after you pass away as they did when you are alive is to leave precise instructions and money so those instructions can be carried out. You do not have to be as wealthy as Mandel to create a pet trust. A much more modest sum can be placed into trust for the care of a beloved family pet.
Ask your estate planning attorney about a pet trust, if you are interested in learning more. You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning. However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project. Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.