If any of your closest friends have feathers, fins or fur, you are responsible for their room, board and ongoing veterinarian care. If something happened to you today, what would happen to your pets? What arrangements have you made for these friends?

Pet Trusts

A pet trust may be created under a last will and testament or revocable living trust. But make sure you set aside an appropriate amount of property to fund your pet trust – this will be essential to its success. For example, a horse not only eats like a horse but has an average life expectancy of 25 to 40 years. By contrast, a great dane has a much smaller appetite and a much shorter life expectancy of 7 to 10 years. 

Ideally, you want to set aside a larger amount of money from your nest egg to fund the future care of a horse than for a great dane. Also, part of your pet trust should include specific instructions for the trustee and caretaker. From favorite daily rituals like walks and feeding to how your friends seek shelter away from the annual 4th of July firecrackers in your neighborhood.

While your pet has been a loyal companion and friend, if you have no plan in place, their future care is simply being left to chance.

Gun Trusts

If you are gun owner in Michigan, you need to know your rights of ownership and know how to properly purchase and protect these valuable assets.

A gun trust can be useful not only for the purchase and possession of NFA guns or devices but also for transfer of your firearms to your beneficiaries someday. The orderly and lawful transition of firearms ownership is something every gun owner should seriously consider as part of his or her estate plan. We are very experienced in advising our clients who own firearms on all the legal issues involved.

Michigan is on the verge of passing another gun rights milestone by legalizing short barreled rifles and shotguns (SBRs/SBSs). As gun rights go, Michigan has come a long way over the last 20 years, easing previously very strict transportation laws and increasing options to acquire a concealed pistol license.

Federal law, namely the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA) and ATF regulations, controls the lawful possession of NFA Firearms. Short barreled rifles and shotguns (as well as suppressors) are subject to the NFA. In a nutshell, one must have federal approval to possess NFA items, including paying a $200 tax for each item. An SBR with a suppressor would require two tax stamps and therefore $400 in additional taxes.

For more information about specialty trusts from the attorneys at Cottrell Law, please contact us here or call us directly at 616.560.3843.