Pet Trusts

In Virginia at least, trusts for pets are no longer solely for rich and famous animals like Leona Helmsley's dog, Trouble, or Tinker, the cat owned by London widow Margaret Layne. In a departure from Virginia's common law, Code of Virginia Section 55-544.08 expressly permits individuals to create enforceable trusts for the care of an animal including burial and post-death expenditures. These so-called "pet trusts" provide a mechanism by which the trust's creator may have some assurance that his animals will be cared for so long as they live. Before creating such a trust, though, an individual should carefully consider the following factors. Read more.

Rare Coins In Estates

One of the more challenging assets to be found in a decedent's estate is the coin collection. Like any other asset, coin collections vary from the trivial and mundane to the fabulously valuable. Some collections, then, may be comprised of worthless pocket change while others may rival that of Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., who put together the only complete collection of United States coins ever assembled. Most collections, of course, fall between these extremes. Regardless of the value of such a collection, the heirs and beneficiaries of the decedent are almost always at a loss as to the valuation and disposal of such a collection as they probably do not share the decedent's passion for collecting. This knowledge gap may result in significant errors, all which may be avoided or minimized. Read more.