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Category Archives: Pets

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When Fido Becomes Part of the Family

Posted in Estate Planning, Pets
Often the purpose of creating an estate plan is to ensure that your family is provided for in the event of your incapacity or death. But, what happens if you consider Fido part of your ‘family’? Historically, pets have been largely absent from estate planning discussions; however, their inclusion is becoming increasingly common as of… Continue Reading

No Monkeying Around Here!

Posted in General Interest, In the News, Pets
Our blog has covered the topic of pets on a number of occasions, most recently the extravagant tale of Bella Mia Bolasny, a pampered Maltese who is set to inherit from her wealthy owner, or “mother”, Rose Ann Bolasny. There’s no question that pets become a part of the family, but is considering them children… Continue Reading

Back From the Dead

Posted in Estate & Trust, In the News, Pets
Earlier this month, a cat living in Tampa, Florida was hit by a car.  Unfortunately, collisions between pets and motor vehicles are not in themselves uncommon.  What is unique about this particular case is that Bart the cat, who was declared dead and buried on January 16, 2015, emerged from his grave five days later,… Continue Reading

An Estate Going to the Dogs

Posted in Charities, Pets, Wills
Two charities are proceeding to an Irish High Court for the adjudication of a dispute over the charitable bequest made pursuant to a Last Will and Testament. The Will in question, executed by Elizabeth Burke of Limerick, Ireland, provided that five hundred thousand of an Estate valued in excess of twelve million euros would be… Continue Reading

A Different Breed of Estate Planning

Posted in Pets
A recent article in the Daily Mail tells the story of Bella Mia Bolasny.  Bella Mia lives a life of luxury.  She travels around the world, eating at five star restaurants.  Her specially designed walk-in closets hold more than a thousand outfits, not to mention jewellery.  She was given an allowance of $100,000 a year… Continue Reading

Ashes to Ashes, to Diamonds?

Posted in Estate Planning, Funerals, Pets
During a recent drive, I tuned into an episode of CBC Radio’s Tapestry, an interesting program that focuses on issues of faith, spirituality and religion. This particular episode featured stories and interviews on the subject of ashes and cremation. As an estate litigator, a profession that is intrinsically linked to death and dying, the episode… Continue Reading

Public Policy for Pets

Posted in Pets
A recent US article, Curiosity Saved The Cat: Judge Blocks Execution of Feline, caught my attention as it dealt with a testator who loved animals so much, that she not only bequeathed all of her $1.3 million estate to animal charities, but also included a clause that her cat, Boots, was to be euthanized.  It… Continue Reading


Posted in Estate & Trust, Pets
My blog posts this week have been inspired by a Globe and Mail article that a summer student handed to me about the late Gail Posner’s trust provisions for her dogs, Conchita, April Maria and Lucia. In yesterday’s blog I noted that while Wills are an opportunity for individuals to provide for their loved ones,… Continue Reading


Posted in Estate & Trust, Pets
There has been a great deal of discussion about the late Leona Helmsley who, when she died, left 12 million dollars in Trust for her beloved Maltese Trouble, while leaving nothing to 2 of her grandchildren for “reasons that are known to them.” Well it’s happened again…another estate is going to the dogs! Our summer… Continue Reading

Court Appoints Financial Monitor to Review Humane Society’s Finances

Posted in In the News, Litigation, Pets
The Superior Court of Justice (at Toronto) ruled Tuesday that the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche be appointed to monitor the finances of the Toronto Humane Society. In his ruling (which does not yet appear to have been put online), the Honourable Mr. Justice Brown also ordered that the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty… Continue Reading

Animal Rights Groups Object to Trustees’ Distribution of Leona Helmsley’s Charitable Trust

Posted in Pets, Trustees
The Leona Hemsley’s estate saga continues. Last month, three animal protection groups filed a petition requesting that the court appeal a previous decision that allowed the trustees of Helmsley’s estate sole discretion to determine how charitable trust funds would be distributed. Rick Bickhram’s previous blog provides a background to this decision. The animal rights groups… Continue Reading

Funeral Industry Update: Doggie Edition

Posted in Funerals, Pets
As, no doubt, everyone is aware, Wednesday was National Dog Day in the United States.  In Atlanta, they celebrated the day with a special groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of the latest addition to the Deceased Pet Care family.  For those who do not know, Deceased Pet Care operates funeral homes… Continue Reading

Planning for Your Pet’s Future Without You…

Posted in Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, In the News, Pets, Trustees
In Maryland, legislation was recently enacted that allows pet owners to establish trusts for their pets, making it the 40th state to allow pet trusts.  Previously, people could not leave gifts to pets because, at law, pets were chattels and could not inherit property.  There are some limitations to the law.  To begin with, people… Continue Reading

Dealing with Estate Issues That Arise Immediately Upon Death – Hull on Estates #135

Posted in Estate & Trust, Executors and Trustees, Guardianship, Hull on Estates, Hull on Estates, Pets, PODCASTS / AUDIO, PODCASTS / TRANSCRIBED, Show Notes, Show Notes, TOPICS, Wills
Listen to  Dealing with Estate Issues That Arise Immediately Upon Death This week on Hull on Estates, David Smith and Natalia Angelini talk about the duties an estate trustee he or she is charged with from the moment of a testator’s passing. Duties include locating the will, making funeral arrangements and being responsible to see… Continue Reading

Planners for Pets

Posted in Estate & Trust, Estate Planning, Pets
I recall a good deal of discussion when Leona Helmsley left millions to be held in trust in her Will last year, some of it on the Hull & Hull blogs and podcasts. Well, the website for Estate Planning for Pets provides some interesting reading in this vein, although the kind of trust established by… Continue Reading

Pet Trust Funds – Hull on Estates Podcast #76

Posted in Hull on Estates, Hull on Estates, Pets, PODCASTS / AUDIO, PODCASTS / TRANSCRIBED
Listen to "Pet Trust Funds" Read the transcribed version of "Pet Trust Funds" In this episode of Hull on Estates, Ian and Suzana talk about a few case studies, the topic of substantial gifts to animals, and the community of podcasting. Click "Continue Reading" for the transcribed version of the podcast.… Continue Reading