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Could naming a pet as an estate beneficiary lead to litigation?

Oregon residents who want to name their pets as beneficiaries of their estates may have questions about how to do it. They may also worry that doing so could end up causing other beneficiaries to contest the contents of the estate plan, requiring litigation to resolve the matter. Those who want to leave assets to their pet may, but they just need to go about it a certain way.

This topic has been widely publicized lately when it was announced that the late Karl Lagerfeld left millions to his beloved cat. The famed designer wanted to make sure his feline was able to continue enjoying the lifestyle to which she had become accustomed. While the cat has amassed her own fortune over the years due to various jobs, Mr. Lagerfeld still felt it necessary to take steps to ensure the feline was properly taken care of.

According to reports on this issue, those who wish to name pets as beneficiaries should name both a custodian of the animal and a trustee of the pet's assets. The two roles are best not shared by the same individual. One's estate plan should also be very specific about what care the animal is to receive and how much should be set aside for that care. At the end of the day, specifics matter when it comes to estate planning.

Could naming a pet as an estate beneficiary lead to litigation? Sure it could if other beneficiaries feel it necessary. However, having a specific and valid estate plan in place can result in any claims contesting the terms of said plan being denied. What Oregon residents need to remember is that it is their money and their property and they should have a say in who gets it when they die. If one wishes to leave assets to a pet, it can happen if the right steps are taken.

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