Making a will is a topic so many people avoid for a slew of reasons; their health is good, nothing tragic or unexpected will happen to them at this time of their lives, they believe they don’t have much in assets to leave anyone, or it simply is a taboo topic they will deal with ‘someday’ in the distant future. Unfortunately reasons can change in an instant. Would you want your possessions to be decided by a court or the State to receive all your valuables?
“A prepared will can provide peace of mind knowing everything that is important to them has been accounted for and left to those people or local charities that mean something significant to that individual” noted volunteer Claudia Labbe’ of the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County. “As many people know, I am actively involved with our local HS/SPCA and of my love of all animals. This is why I made plans accordingly to help continue assisting them in the important work they do even after I have passed. I have had the joy of witnessing how many lives are improved, both of animals and people, by the efforts of the HS/SPCA of Sumter and I want that to continue through my planned giving.”
Pet owners are also strongly encouraged to include a PET TRUST in their estate planning. Assign a pet caregiver, provide funding for the pets’ lifetime care and have the trustee maintain asset control according to your wishes. In your will, be sure to select a temporary caretaker for your pet for the time between the owner’s death and the admission of the will to probate. Also, if no friend or relative can be found to take your pet, a charitable organization can be considered to care for, and/or place your furry companion. Florida Statute §736.0408 allows a pet trust as part of your estate planning, is enforceable in court, and allows part of your estate to go towards the care of your pet.
The Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter offers a printable guideline of valuable information on their website to those wanting to assist the local non-profit via their estate planning preparations. This resource will provide assistance to interested donors, presentable to their independent financial and legal counsel when executing wills, trusts, contracts and other agreements. For those interested in saving lives by “Leaving a Legacy of Compassion,” please contact the Humane Society/SPCA of Sumter County, Inc. at 352-793-9117, via https://www.hsspca.org/estate-planning or at PO Box 67/994 CR 529A, Lake Panasoffkee, FL, 33538 for a mailed copy of the guidelines.