Thursday, January 14, 2016

(YOUR DOG WILL THANK YOU) Part I: ‘Continuing Connection’ (Tzavta) - Pet Protection Agreements & Trusts:

 ‘Continuing Connection’ (Tzavta) - Pet Protection Agreements & Trusts:

The ‘best’ is a singular superlative with the exception, in the plural, our dogs

            Stunning statistic: 19% of those over 60 are orphans – in the sense of no family. And yet, the fastest growing segment of companion animal ‘ownership/guardianship/parenting’ is age 50+ with 3 or more dogs and or cats.

            70% + of our dogs & cats sleep in their guardians’ bed. (Sealy study)
            Companion animals extend our lives an average of 7 years (AIG commercial)
            90%+ of us, in study after study, believe our dogs and cats are ‘members of the family’ (not personal property!)

            And so, heaven forbid, who is going to care for your companion animals if you are a seasoned citizen orphan or not when you graduated – pass on?
            For those with family, most assume a member or members of the family will pick up the slack.
            But things change.
            Divorces happen.
          Spouses, no kidding, change the décor, and if your beagle doesn’t go with the new furnishings, curtains (so to speak).
            The pecuniary bequests made to relatives in the hopes for the care of your best friends – unless in a trust – can be ‘redeployed’ and not for the benefit of your companion animals.
            To minimize or prevent former spouses getting rid of the dog because of changes in décor, or a change of heart of one whom you made a pecuniary bequest for the care of your dogs – pilfering those monies for personal use - there are Pet Trusts

            In most if not all states now, one can set up a Pet Trust exactly to address these concerns making your companion animals – who even though by law unfortunately are still ‘personal property’ (see my book Trust Me: I’m Not A Veterinarian and coming soon – beneficiaries. (But unlike a toaster – which is also personal property by law – our companion animals can be made beneficiaries of a trust!)

            I have and have had for years, drafted by attorneys Suzanna Fox Buchanan (her dog is Rocky I believe) & coordinated with my estate lawyer Richard Saul (his dogs are Elle & Sally) here in Denver, one of the first if not the first Pet Trust in Colorado which is funded specifically for the care of my dogs (then for Buddy, Moolah, Ricki, Nicki, Moses, Elle & Max and now for ‘Reb’ Simcha & ‘Her Royal Highness’ Goodie) . Furthermore, I have a Pet Protection Agreement with additional specific instructions for care, and subsequent guardians if necessary.
            You should have a trust and pet protection agreement as well. (For $60 or so, you can even do a Pet Protection Agreement on Legal Zoom. The Pet Trust agreement should be in consultation with your estate lawyer in conjunction with a review of your estate wills and trusts which you haven’t updated – in how long?

Death ends a life not a relationship
The Rebbe

            This blog, my writings, my former practice was and is about Enough. And yes, Enough is ‘healing personal financial anxiety, puttin’ money in its place, to transcend, to elevate to CONNECT, to one’s significance, assignment, and or meaning (what is meant to do, meant to be – enough to live on; enough to live for).
            Notice the word CONNECT.
            In the word Mitzvah (yes, as in Bar Mitzvah) is derived from the Aramaic – Tzavta – meaning – connect.
            Our companion animals – be we with family and or senior orphans –are best friends, teachers, confidants, comedians, the best psychologists (that cost but biscuits), someone to grow up with – someone to grow old with.
            They CONNECT us – tzavta.
            Therefore, to continue connection – even until again – for your best friends – it isn’t ‘enough’ to just make a grant to another hoping for their care – but set up the Pet Trust and Pet Protection Agreement – NOW.
            You dogs and cats will thank you – as they greet you – connect with you (Tzavta) once again.
            And that connection – continuing connectionTzavta! - is beyond existence…


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