Sarah Ann Hill
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Belletristik / Fantasy
After an owner's death, many companion animals are abandoned or forgotten. They are given to friends or relatives of the deceased who may or may not want to care for them. More often, they are surrendered to an animal shelter. Every person who owns a pet should be concerned with what will happen to them when we die. This is a growing problem that needs to be addressed in one's lifetime. Ophelia G. McMahon was an American Brown Tabby cat who was adopted from the Clearwater, Florida Animal Shelter. During the "Big Snowstorm of 1993" she became an orphan and ended up in an abusive home. The first time I saw Ophelia, she had been confined in a small bedroom for several months, sharing her home with a ball python. Cowering in a chair beneath a table, she looked up at me with her sad green eyes as if to say, "Help me, please." There was no way I could leave without her. A growing area of law today in estate planning for pets is the care of one's pet upon the owner's death or incapacity. People are always concerned with passing on wealth to children or other relatives with as little consequences as possible, but what about taking care of a pet! If you die and your pet survives you, the issue is not going to be just leaving enough money for the pet to be cared for in the long run. Who is going to take care of your pet today and tomorrow? Back in 1946, humorist H. Allen Smith wrote the fictional tale of a cat named Rhubarb who inherited all his owner's wealth and a baseball team. His story contained more truth than fiction. Benny, Betty and Rambo's owner left a will so detailed that it included instructions for the disposition of her Seiko watch. What about her beloved pets? Philanthropist Jenny Smith's pets ended up in the very animal shelter she'd established a trust fund for. Most recently, JFK Jr's dog Friday and cat Ruby weren't even mentioned in his Last Will and Testament.