What Are Pet Trusts? – Part II

by KitKat Hook, Feline Extraordinaire (reprinted from January 2013)

September 13, 2013

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This is the 2nd installment of some information I have recently learned about designing a pet trust for your beloved pet, whatever species he/she may be. Pet trusts can be as varied as we pets ourselves are. Regulations vary from state to state as I have said in a previous article, so you need to contact a Certified Elder Law Attorney, like Andy Hook, to design one specifically for your pet(s). My family has one, because there are 5 cats in our family. Cats tend to live longer than dogs, so it’s very important to have one for them. One of my sisters, Brigitte, lived to be 19.  I have a sister now, Misty, who is 16. My other siblings range in age from 5-9 years of age.
Anyway, it will be helpful when you do seek the advice of a certified elder law attorney, to have proof of your pet’s identity in order to prevent fraud. A photo or microchip will suffice. Keep in mind that one way to design the trust is to have the trust cover any pets you may have during your lifetime, rather than create a separate trust for each of your pets.
Things to specify in the trust are:  1) the level of care that you wish to have for your pet. Give details about their food and what type of living conditions they are used to, 2) yearly veterinary exams, 3) specify how much and how frequently the trust funds will be distributed to the caregiver, 4) the amount in the pet trust fund should cover the pet’s care as well as a little extra to cover the administrative costs of the trust, 5) name a beneficiary to receive any money that is not used by the pet trust, and finally, 6) specify how you want your pet’s burial or cremation carried out. So that about covers it. As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when you are ensuring your pet’s future. But they’re definitely worth it! (Information taken from “Pet Trust Primer,” Kim Bressant-Kibwe, Esq., www.aspca.org, 12-19-12)
SAVE THE DATE!  Hook Law Center Attorneys Andrew Hook and Jessica Hayes are presenting a seminar on Providing for Pets in Estate Plans at the Care-A-Lot Pet Supply at 5457 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, VA  on Thursday, September 19th at 6:30 p.m. Click Here to R.S.V.P. !
Be cautious of any notice regarding additional “Processing Fees” from unsolicited mail if you have recently recorded a deed.  If you receive such a notice in the mail and are unsure if it is legitimate , please call Hook Law Center to discuss. Deeds can only be issued by city or county government, and they are the only entities with which one should conduct business.
For more information, visit this link from the Better Business Bureau:   http://www.bbb.org/blog/2012/12/homeowners-tricked-into-overpaying-for-their-deed/
ask kitkat logo
A Cat Cafe     
Hook Law Center:  Kit Kat, is there really such a thing as a cat cafe?
Kit Kat Yes, I am happy to say there are. Some already exist in Vienna, Tokyo, London, and one will open in Paris during September. The one in Paris was created by Margaux Gandelon. It is called Le Café des Chats (The café of cats). The idea is particularly appealing in large cities where many people would like to own a pet, but cannot realistically have one, either because of their apartment’s policy or because the space is small or because there is no view. She calls it ‘purr therapy.’
I know my sister, Alexis, would have loved such a thing. When she moved to New York City 5 years ago, my parents took one of our cats to live with her. However, when my mom saw the apartment, she knew Baby (the cat’s name) would never survive there without a tree and birds to entertain her. The few windows in the apartment opened onto a back courtyard which only had a view of fire escapes and brick walls. My mom calls birds and trees “Kitty TV.” Baby has certain standards you know! Baby returned home to Chesapeake with only a weekend visit to NYC.
Anyway, Mlle. (Miss) Gandelon feels she is making an important contribution to the health of Parisians. She has employed the services of a veterinarian who will make sure the cats are in good shape and have their vaccinations up-to-date. Dr. Gregory Hammer, the former president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, agrees with her. ‘The human animal bond has been well documented, and I do believe the ability to pet and interact with purring cats is a stress reducer,’ he said. Cats will not be allowed in the kitchen, and there will be a separate room for the litter boxes, accessible to the cats via a cat door with a 2-way flap. Mlle. Gandelon plans to have the café open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. So next time you’re in Paris, visit Le Café des Chats in the Marais neighborhood. You’re in for a treat!
(http:www.today.com/pets/parlez-vous-meow-cat-cafe-open-paris-6C10584683) (7-10-2013)
Upcoming Events

  • Hook Law Center will be presenting a seminar on Providing for Pets in Estate Plans at Care-A-Lot Pet Supply, 5457 Indian River Road, Virginia Beach, VA on September 19, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.  This event, hosted by the Norfolk SPCA and Care-A-Lot Pet Supply, is free and open to the public.
  • Hook Law Center proudly presents “Shred With A Purpose” at our Virginia Beach office location, 295 Bendix Road, Suite 170, Virginia Beach, VA  23452 on September 21, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.  This event is free and open to the public.  Donations will be accepted during this event for the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  More information on this event follows.
  • Hook Law Center will be presenting a seminar on Guardianships, AMDs and Long-Term Care Planning at Compassionate Care Hospice, 920 Ventures Way, Suite 6, Chesapeake, Virginia on October 2, 2013 from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Hook Law Center is participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s  on October 13, 2013 to raise funds and awareness. We  know Team Hook Law Center can make a difference with your support! It’s easy to give online by clicking here.  If you would like to join Team  Hook Law Center, raise funds and walk with us, please email Jennifer Woods-Pagano, CECC, our team captain, at pagano@hooklawcenter.com for more information.
  • Hook Law Center will be presenting on Estate and Long-Term Care Planning at the Medicare Health Fair at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, 1000 19th Street, Virginia Beach, VA on November 16,  2013.  This event, hosted by Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, is free and open to the public.
  • Hook Law Center will be presenting a webinar on the Affordable Care Act and Elder Law and Special Needs Planning on December 4, 2013. This webinar will be hosted by Interactive Legal.
  • Hook Law Center will be presenting a live webinar on POAs, AMDs and the Ethics of It All in Charlottesville, VA on April 10, 2014. This webinar will be hosted by Virginia Continuing Legal Education.

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