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Pets should be included in estate administration plans

Most people treat their pets as if they were members of their own family on a daily basis. However, when it comes to planning for estate administration many people will forget to take their pets into consideration. This can cause problems in Maryland or in another other state. Without taking pets into consideration there may be nobody able to care for the pets after their owners pass away.

This is what happened recently when one woman died and left her two dogs behind. The two dogs were found by another woman who brought the dogs to a veterinarian. She had discovered the dogs wandering in a vacant lot next to a discount store. She found out the dogs had microchips implanted into them which enabled her to find out who the dogs' legal owner was.

Apparently the dogs' owner had left the animals in her backyard before she left for work. However, she never made it back home because she ended up dying of a heart attack in a local hospital. The woman did not have any relatives living nearby, and she also did not include the two animals in her estate plan. The woman who discovered the dogs is now taking care of them at her own home.

Creating instructions on how to care for pets during estate administration will help to make sure they do not end up on the streets of Maryland or any other state. Also, other aspects of how to distribute an estate to heirs can also be included. However, it is important to make sure the legal documents are drafted correctly in order to ensure they correctly reflect the actual intentions and will withstand any scrutiny by a probate court.

Source: NBC Dallas Fort Worth, Remember Pets When Estate Planning, Ben Russell, Sept. 30, 2013

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  • Bar Association Of Frederick County, Maryland
  • NAELA National Academy Of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc.
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  • Washington County Bar Association , DC Bar
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