Pet Trust Lawyers CT

When you have a beloved animal in your life and want to provide for their well-being after you are gone, contact the pet trust lawyers CT at The Prue Law Group. Ensure the future welfare of your beloved horse, dog, or exotic bird. We will be happy to discuss Pet Trusts with you. Call (860) 423-9231.

Polly Want A Cracker? No, Polly Wants Her Own Estate Plan

For many of us our pets are loved as part of our family, and as part of the family, we want to provide for them when we no longer are able. It is not uncommon for many of our clients to inquire as to what steps can be taken to protect their pets upon their death or their own incapacity.

For more than a decade, Connecticut law has provided just such a method. As part of your estate plan, you can establish a “Pet Trust” and it is enforceable within our probate court system so as to guarantee your wishes are complied with.

These pet trusts can:

  1. Designate someone to care for your pet and even appoint a person, known as a “Trust Protector”, to supervise the care the pet is receiving from the designated caregiver.
  2. Be funded so that there are monies set aside to provide food, cover medical costs, housing costs, and other expenses that the caregiver may occur while taking care of your beloved pet.
  3. Direct that the person caring for your pets be reimbursed for their time and expense.
  4. Specify where any remaining funds not used for your pet upon their death are distributed to family, friends, or perhaps an animal shelter.
  5. And as with all estate trusts, the Probate Court will require annual accountings to ensure your wishes are properly complied with.

Statistics tell us that each year hundreds of thousands of pets are placed in shelters or abandoned, situations that you would never want for them and estate planning tools such as a “pet trust” are effective and simple steps to care for them.

CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT PET TRUSTS

When you want to provide for the care and well-being of a pet, follow this list of considerations.

FIrstly, determine what pet(s) to include in the trust. The pet may be identified by your pet’s name, photograph and a written description. Include a microchip number, DNA profile,  and registration papers. Next, write a detailed directive on the type of care you desire for your pet. Include specific treatments, emergency care, daily care, grooming, boarding, walking or other services.

When determining how much money to fund the trust, you need to consider the pet’s life expectancy, special needs, daily cost of food, shelter, and medical services. It may be a good idea leave sufficient funds for pet insurance.

Next, you must designate a Trustee, a Caregiver, a Trust Protector, and the remainder Beneficiary.

•  The Trustee is typically a family member or friend who is familiar with your pet. This is a person who will treat your pet as a member of the family.

•  You may wish to appoint a Caregiver rather than the Trustee to care for your pet. The Caregiver would be compensated by the Trustee.

•  Connecticut law requires that you appoint a Trust Protector. The Trust Protector makes sure that the Trust assets are being used for your pet. The Trust Protector may report directly to the Probate or Superior Court to enforce its provisions, remove the trustee or order an accounting.

•  The remainder Beneficiary is one named to receive any remaining funds when your pet dies.

•  Lastly, make arrangements for the final disposition of your pet upon its death. Include instructions for burial,  cremation or memorial ceremony.

TAXES

Pets are not recognized as trust beneficiaries under federal law. The trust receives no income distribution deduction for distributions and pays income taxes on taxable income. The trust is entitled to deduct the amount of distributable net income paid to the caregiver or Trustee and the Caregiver or Trustee recognizes this taxable income on his or her own income tax return. Connecticut recognizes a trust for the benefit of a pet, but does not qualify for an estate deduction.

 

Pet Trust Lawyers CT | The Prue Law Group, P.C.

Keeping Pace: New Technology

Keeping Pace: New Technology

Is it my imagination, or are smart phones and tablets marketing “new and improved” upgraded versions of their devices merely months apart? The iphone, tablet/readers and pc/tablet hybrids all want to be your go-to device and seem like great tech toys for the consumer that wants to hold the world in his hands. While I see the value in personal internet portals, these new technologies are completely changing the rules of web page presentation.

Have you noticed the proliferation of highly visual messages – photography, info-graphics, jquery powered slideshows – and the decline of text on websites? Has the attention span of the public become so short that a picture must now convey the company story? Back when dial-up reigned, graphics were scarce and web pages resembled ordinary documents.

There are new protocols for website developers now that public wireless internet is ubiquitous and bandwidth abundant. Have you noticed how many websites now look like Facebook and Pinterest? What was once true for keyword and metatag selection in page text and bold headlines has been supplanted by clever subliminal messages conveyed by photography, collages and infographics. The abundance of infographics in use today gives the viewer the visual equivalent of a soundbite. The danger of marketing with chunks of imagery is that one can’t possibly make a rational decision on so little information. Maybe staring at little media screens puts your brain into a suggestive state, where positive imagery seals the deal.

I consider myself a late-bloomer and strive not to follow trendy design until I must. Last fall we completed a project that was directed by a client’s cellphone. We ultimately recoded her home page to give short chunks of information with a prominent call-to-action graphic. Complex key phrases were replaced with bullet-points. I thought it looked more like a power-point slide than a home page… but my client was already onto something I had dismissed as a fad. Since then I completely remodeled three of my sites to include more impactful graphics and slides.

Last week a telemarketer told me in the first sentence of her spiel that my company is nonexistent on Google, not user-friendly on cellphones and I need to have her company fix it. A funny fact is my Google rep told me a half-hour before that I am right at the top of local search for website design. For the past year I have contributed short posts about marketing, social media, scams, spams, and other topics from the small business point of view. My message is about what I can do for small business owners who need a dedicated webmaster to present their company story with care.

That said, I do understand the value of impactful graphics, concise messages and the new expectations of the hand-held device and the browser with a short attention span. Need a consultation? Call during regular business hours or shoot me an email!

Social Media in a Small Business

Social Media in a Small Business

Anyone with a Facebook account has been asked to participate in “likes”, “follows” and “comments” by vendors, service providers and blog sites. You feel you should be utilizing the new social technologies in your marketing efforts, but what do you do after opening your account?
 

Keeping it real on Facebook

Facebook has been described as the number-one time suck on the net. As a platform for families, extended families and friends, folks can be themselves, reveal their inner children, share the fun, and continue conversations. Facebook ‘friends’ were friends, the site was a neat place to meet, share the love, plan real get-togethers, and share pictures of vacation spots and the grandkids. Many offices have their staff wired to the internet, and many people keep their facebook page open all day!

The environment for the entrepreneur and business, though, is not casual and carefree, and commentary is not always friendly. A spontaneous comment or shared political post potentially opens your thread to everyone, including people who have little else to do than spew (ever see YouTube or Yahoo comments threads?) … there are haters, spammers and flamers lurking everywhere.

This summer I found an award-winning social media marketing training resource which outlined the basic tenets of today’s major social media sites. Though Facebook dominates (today), there are new sites opening up every few months. While you may have dismissed Facebook as a fad, know that it dominates the social sharing world (today), and thousands of companies are exploiting the site as a low-cost marketing medium.

If you are like me and other busy sole-proprietors, you may have experienced “paralysis by analysis”. If you have a company Facebook page, a LinkedIn profile and a list of existing clients, I can help you learn the basics, and together we can map out a long-range plan to monetize your efforts or attract new clientele. Existing clients will be billed at my prevailing website design rates and may contract my services on a monthly basis.