In Florida there are limitations on Pet Trusts and the courts would likely find that $12 Million for a dog would be excessive and strike all or part of the trust.
Leona Helmsley’s Dog was left a $12 Million dollar trust fund. In addition the Maltese, named Trouble will be buried alongside her and her late husband in a mausoleum. Leona also left 3 Million for the perpetual care of the mausoleum.
While the press and blogs are making a big deal over the dog getting $12 million, everyone fails to see the costs she is incurring because of probate. She left the majority of her money and property (rumored to be in excess of 1 billion dollars) to a Family charitable trust. The legal fees on handling this administration could be in excess of $60 Million dollars. If she would have put this money in a Revocable Trust or Living Trust there would be no probate fees to transfer the Billion dollars to the charity.
If you or a loved one has a billion dollars they want to give to charity, make sure its in a Living trust to avoid the costs and delay of probate.
Often the Break even cost with a Florida Living Trust is less than $100,000 in assets. To determine if you or your family needs a trust, speak to a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer.
For more information on Florida Pet Trusts.