The estate planning process is designed to create protections for the future. Depending on the needs and wishes of an individual, an estate plan can include various documents.
Pets are a beloved member of 68 percent of American households and rising because many couples without children have pets and the use of comfort and emotional support animals is growing. Leaving pets out of estate planning, however, could lead to the unintended euthanizing of the pet or its placement into a shelter. Pet trusts are an effective measure to help assure the pet's future well-being.
Creating an estate plan requires formal legal documents, such as a trust, power of attorney, health care proxy and living will. However, effective trust planning should also include a letter of instruction containing information or guidance.
A trustee has the important duty of managing property for another person's benefit. Because this is an important position of trust and an obvious target in family disputes over trusts and estates, a trustee may face the risk of accusations of mismanagement or theft.