If you know me you know I am obsessed with my four-legged friends, Kaiya, a 4-year-old rare sled dog who has a nose for days, and Tucker, a 1-year-old golden retriever who has more energy than the energizer bunny. I am not alone in this obsession. According to the ASPCA, “it’s estimated that 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States.” And not only that but “in 2013, Americans spent a record $55.7 billion, on puppy chow, cat litter, grooming, toys, vet visits, and … [Read more...] about Tails From The Bark Side: Plans Aren’t Just For Humans
When you are planning your estate you are providing for your loved ones who will survive you. Nobody generally overlooks the two-legged members of the family, but it’s easier to forget about planning for the four-legged types as well. An Imperfect Solution Planning for the proper care of your pet can mean setting aside resources for the care of your pet when you are creating your plan. A caretaker is named in the will, and this individual is left with a direct bequest. This may be better than … [Read more...] about Pet Planning Trend Upswing
You may think about estate planning for the first time when you embark on a career path. When you go through a benefits orientation session you may be told that your company provides you with a minimal amount of life insurance. The company pays for this base amount of coverage, and you have the option of paying for increased coverage. Many companies provide their employees with health insurance as well. Some of them pay for the insurance premiums in full, and other companies subsidize health … [Read more...] about Pet Planning: Consider Pet Insurance
This week I’m at the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning. In the Recent Developments session during the opening day of the Institute, we looked at a Tax Court case involving a taxpayer with dozens of cats. Van Dusen v. Commissioner, 136 T.C. No. 25 (2011). In fact, she had so many cats that she could not invite guests over. The number of cats in her home varied between 70 and 80 over the course of the year. In addition, the taxpayer had 7 cats who were her pets and who had names. The … [Read more...] about Keeping Dozens of Cats May Be Deductible
I spent an hour or so a couple weeks ago talking to an attorney who focuses on Pet Planning. She is quite successful in her efforts and I wanted to know more about how she attracted such a great flow of business. There were no huge secrets in what she had to say: Be passionate about the pet niche or any other niche you are making an effort to serve. Be clear about what the estate planning challenges, needs and solutions are for the niche. It’s also very important to identify exactly what it is … [Read more...] about It’s All Going to the Dogs!