Rachel Hirschfeld in the Media

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Rachel Hirschfeld Answers Your Questions

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How to protect your prized pet with a trust

Wills and estate plans are hard enough for most people to fathom. Only 67 percent of Americans over 55 have any sort of written testament, according to FindLaw, a unit of Thomson Reuters.....

Attorney Creates Pet Protection Plan® After Katrina

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Trusts For Dogs? Providing For Pets After You're Gone

Pets are often like members of the family, so you might worry about what will happen if you’re no longer around to take care of them. Setting up a trust to benefit your pet can put your mind at ease, and you don’t have to be a billionaire to do it......

How to...Protect Your Pet After You Die

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Bizarre Bequests

Today -

A Legal Introduction to a Pet Trust Fund

Animal law has become a legal specialty in the past thirty years. While historically animals were purely “property,” a “rights” or “companionship” viewpoint is slowly developing. For example, a few states have enacted legislation or have judicial decisions allowing some financial recovery for owners beyond fair-market-value for the wrongful death of domesticated dogs and cats.

Pet Trusts

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(Pet) Protection Money

Advisors can show additional value by helping clients protect beloved pets when they’re no longer able to care for them.

Pet Trust and Pet Protection Agreement® Pet Trust Seminar

New Jersey Aid for Animals

Feathers Ruffled. Fur Flies. Lessons Learned From Ebola.

Feathers were ruffled and fur flew when the fate of the dogs owned by two women who contracted the Ebola virus was brought to public attention. In Spain, Excaliber, the dog who belonged to a health care worker who contracted the virus was euthanized despite protests by animal lovers who started a Twitter campaign #salvomosaexcaliber. U.S. officials were a bit more humane; they quarantined Bentley, the King Charles Spaniel belonging to Dallas health care worker Nina Pham.

Providing for your pet after you are gone

You just love your darling pet and are sure everyone else does, too. How could they not? So if you were to pass away or no longer be able to care for your pet, a family member or friend would certainly give him or her a good home, right? Wrong unfortunately.

More Americans Are Writing Their Pets Into Their Wills

Leaving Thousands of Dollars for the Care of Animals. The number of Americans owning pets is at a record high, and more people are making provisions in their wills to provide for these animals after they're gone.

Our Guide to Estate Planning for Dogs

What happens to your dog if you die first? Learn about options, including pet trusts and pet protection agreements, to ensure your dog gets taken care of after you are gone.

Pet estate planning: It's easier than ever to include your pets in your estate plan

Some people leave bequests for their pets in wills. But that isn't always the best option because the purpose of a will is to distribute property, and instructions are unenforceable, according to the 2010 book "Petriarch: The Complete Guide to Financial and Legal Planning for a Pet's Continued Care." In other words, Jane might get the house and the cat, but there's nothing in the will that compels her to keep the house maintained or the cat fed.

Pondering a Trust for Your Pet

If you love your pet like a family member, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has some advice: Consider planning for your pet's future care as though the animal were a real dependent.

The Pet Problem

Ms. Schiro’s friend, who died after a long illness, had made arrangements for a caregiver to take one of her cats. She assumed her son would take the other. But after her death, the caregiver backed out and the son decided that the additional cats — he already had two — were just too much. In the end, one cat was adopted into a new home, but the other was taken to a shelter.

Stable Value: Putting Your Horse in a Trust

Hay is for horses – and so, apparently, are trusts.
Advisers say it is important for owners to include their horses in their estate plans, especially since horses can live into their 30s and rack up large expenses. Many horse sanctuaries, where some families have sent horses to retire, are at capacity due to the economic downturn.

Do Pet Owners Need a Will?

The unconditional love that pets offer their owners is something many pet parents would say they can’t live without. Much like a house or a car, pets are considered property under the law. But unlike cash assets, pets can’t be left in the bank when something happens to their owners, and experts say pet owners would be wise to leave provisions for their furry friends in a will or another legal document to ensure uninterrupted care and love.

Pet estate planning: Not just for Leona Helmsley anymore

You don't have to be Leona Helmsley to want the best for your pet after you die. She'd left her dog Trouble $12 million when she passed away in 2007. A judge cut the award to $2 million and awarded some of the money to her grandchildren, but the Maltese still lived a life of luxury until his death in December.

Alexander McQueen Left $82,000 to His Dogs

Design legend Alexander McQueen has left 50,000 pounds (about $82,000) to his three dogs, according to details of his will released Tuesday.

The dogs, called Minter, Juice and Callum, according to the Daily Telegraph, received the same amount as each of McQueen’s two housekeepers.

Four-legged funds

When Soupbone, the beloved dog of New Jersey-based lawyer Rachel Hirschfeld, developed cancer 10 years ago, Hirschfeld spent months finding the best doctors and creating a cancer treatment plan for her pet. “Then one day I thought, If I die, who will know how to give Soupbone the care he needs?” she remembers.

Meet owners who will stop at nothing to show they’re crazy fur their pets!

Jenny Smith would do anything for her dog. Go ahead, dare her. In October, Smith, who works for a music school in West Harlem, learned her sweet Sophie (an 8-year-old pit bull-mix rescue) had lymphoma. After depleting $6,000 of her savings toward vet bills, Smith vowed to find a way save the ailing pooch.

Would You Put Your Pet In Your Will?

If you think stories of people choosing to bequeath some (or all!) of their hard-earned loot to their four-legged kids is a solely American trend, think again.

Joyful owner takes home pitbull - Snoop

Snoop, a sweet young pit bull, won the reprieve after a quixotic fight by his owner, Francesca, who enlisted the support of a pet advocate lawyer and agreed to build an elaborate secure enclosure.

Good Boy

Worried about what will happen to your pets after you're gone? Estate lawyers have it all figured out.

Trouble's $12M trust fund part of new legal trend

A growing number of people, not all wealthy, have been setting up trust funds or adjusting their wills to ensure that their pets are well cared for if they die, according to attorneys and animal welfare groups.

Top Dogs Among World's Fat Cats

She's Trouble, the millionaire Maltese who inherited $12 million from Leona Helmsley and became the newest member of an exclusive pack of pampered pooches.

Planned Giving

Those of us who think of our companion animals as family members are becoming increasingly aware that part of our responsibility to them is to make sure that their care and comfort continue uninterrupted, should we become incapable of caring for them ourselves.

More People Leaving Money to Their Pets

A growing number of people, not all wealthy, have been setting up trust funds or adjusting their wills to ensure that their pets are well cared for if they die, according to attorneys and animal welfare groups.

It's a dog's life, and it can improve when you die

It may have been my imagination, but I sensed last week that our dog Millie seemed to be acting with mysterious kindness toward me. Before I go on, I should point out that Millie would be very offended to hear me refer to her as "our" dog, or anyone's "dog," for that matter.

Pet Trust Fund

Each year 500,000 animals are put to death, but they're not strays. They're pets whose owners have died and there was no one to care for them.

Til Pets Do Us Part

More animals become part of estate plans as owners set up trusts

The $12 Million Dog

How do four-legged legacies like the one left behind by Leona Helmsley work? Estate lawyer and pet specialist Rachel Hirschfeld explains.

Leona Helmsley's dog needs legal aid to get will money

Leona Helmsley's millionaire Maltese - who last week received $12 million from the Queen of Mean's will - needs legal representation if she expects to maintain her five-star lifestyle, a pet trust specialist said yesterday.

Pet Trusts: Securing Your Pet's Future

If your pets are an important part of your life, some of the following thoughts might have occurred to you. “Who will take care of my beloved pets if I am no longer able to provide for them, even if I am still alive? What if I am no longer here...who will keep them safe and healthy?”

NYSBA Implements Pet Care For Patients Program

A new voluntary program that ensures the pets of hospitalized patients will be given proper care while the patient focuses on his or her health and well being has been announced by The New York State Bar Association’s Special Committee on Animals and the Law.

Providing for Your Cat After You Are Gone

Rachel Hirschfeld of New York created The Pet Protection Agreement*™ and The Hirschfeld Pet Trust™. She says that one of the most important things to consider when setting up a pet trust is that you want your cat to get the same level of care for his entire life, even if you are unable to care for him due to injury, illness or death.

Learning from Helmsley: Plan for Your Pet

While Leona Helmsley’s $12 million bequest to her dog, Trouble, was deemed excessive and reduced to $2 million by a court in June, it left many pet owners concerned about their post-mortem wishes.

Trouble for Trouble! Judge Knocks $10 Mil from Helmsley Dog’s Take

Last week, for our girlfriend’s birthday, the Law Blog adopted a kitten from the North Shore Animal League. We named the three-month old William Wallace, and then went about procuring several appurtenances of kitty wealth, such as toy mice, feather teasers, a fleece bed and a scratching post.

Ensure your pets aren't lost in the shuffle after your death

Not everyone loves Trouble, but you have to envy her. The white Maltese was left $12 million by her late owner, hotel diva Leona Helmsley. Every few months, it seems, there's another media pooch or kitty like Trouble living in the lap of luxury, thanks to a human friend's last will and testament.

Pet inheritance

You're an organized, Type-A sort of person, the kind who has drafted a will that outlines the details for distribution of all your worldly belongings when you die.

On Trust

What would happen to your dog or cat if you passed away or were incapacitated by illness or injury? Pet trusts and legacies help ensure she'll be cared for if the worst happens.

Six-Figure Bequest Is New Must-Have For Pampered Pooches and Kittens

New York has no shortage of trust fund babies. Now, some city residents are also leaving five and six-figure bequests to their pets. Sizeable pet trusts ensure that pooches like Freebo and Bumper won’t be pound-bound should anything happen to their guardians, Richard and Patti Brotman.

The Legacy of Love for ALL Animals

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