What happens to your pets when you die?

Over 80 million people in the U.S. have at least one pet. That’s 65% of all households. Cats are more popular than dogs, but that’s still a ton of pets. There is a very good chance that they are treated as family members. Unfortunately, many people don’t include their furry loved ones in their estate planning.

A good way to plan for your pets is to create a living revocable trust. That way you can leave instructions and money so your trustee can provide for your pet. In that tust you can also assign someone to take care of your pet, but you should make sure they are willing to take on the task.

If you don’t create a living trust, you can always leave what they call a letter of instruction to your loved ones. While the letter is not legally binding it does spell out your wishes as to the care of your beloved pet.

Another option is if you move into an assisted living facility. You can find one that allows pets.

It is a good thing to remember that although your pet might be like family to you, legally they are just property. That is why it behooves you to include your pets in your estate planning just as you would your humans.

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Whether a family member dies with or without a Last Will & Testament, all interested parties must be located and notified of the decedent’s passing.
Interested parties consist of all the heirs named in the Will or all distributees of the Estate.

A distributee is a family member of the deceased who would inherit if there was no will. Failure to locate an interested party will delay the probate of the Estate.
We can locate missing relatives by conducting extensive internet searches directly or by retaining genologist companies.

As a last resort, we can serve the missing interested parties by publication after the completion of all due diligence and by order of the Court.

However, simply locating an heir is not enough; one would have to first prove his/her status as the legal heir of the decedent. This can be done in two ways:

1)  He/she can produce an Heir ship Affidavit drafted by an individual with knowledge.

2)  By providing a Birth Certificate.

For any assistance in this regard, please contact Jeffrey Weinstein Estates Attorney, on 212-693-3737

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What Happens When You Challenge a Claim Against an Estate?

Each year, it is increasingly common to see claims filed against an estate. This is because many people write their wills and trusts without a knowledgeable estate planning attorney present to help. It may also be due to increasing financial struggles and changing family dynamics. If someone is making a claim against an estate that isn’t valid, it’s important that you challenge the claim in a court of law.

Will concept

Know Your Rights: There are a lot of New York estate planning laws, and it’s important to get a solid understanding about whether your challenge has validity. Whenever you want to challenge a claim against an estate, the first thing you should do is talk to a probate attorney. Getting a thorough understanding of your rights will equip you with the knowledge you need to successfully submit your challenge.
Reasons to Challenge a Claim Against an Estate: When someone passes away, many people will emerge who feel entitled to more money than they’re left. This may include friends, family members, or anyone claiming to be owed debt by the deceased. If someone is submitting a claim against an estate and you don’t think they have a right to the assets they’re claiming, it’s important that you submit a legal challenge in a timely manner.
The Probate Process: Anyone filing a claim against an estate must submit formal information in writing to the court. They are required to prove the validity of their claim amount in full, and they must also prove that any assets held by the state are not sufficient to pay the debt. If you don’t feel that these requirements have been satisfied, you will work with a probate attorney to submit a challenge.

If you think a friend, family member, or creditor has filed an unfair claim against an estate, contact a New York estate planning lawyer right away. These cases require expert knowledge and extensive experience. To get the legal assistance you need to win your challenge, call the lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Weinstein for a free consultation at 212-693-3737

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