Divorce can be a very contentious time in a couple's lives. There are so many issues to be settled in a divorce such as who gets the house, custody if there are children and division of assets. But who gets the family pet? In Michigan, about 62 percent of couples own a pet. Is there such a thing as pet custody?
In the United States, divorce in the general population is decreasing. However, divorce among the baby boomers, or those over 50, is actually on the increase. Twenty years ago, one in twenty couples over the age of 50 were divorcing, now it is one in four. The reasons for this increase are many.
Some couples are quite open with one another about their email and social media accounts, going so far as sharing the same account. Others are more circumspect, maintaining their separate accounts, but perhaps being a bit lax about password security.
When establishing estates and trusts, people normally take into consideration who will care for minor children in the event of the parent's passing. Michigan families may be overlooking important family members. Pets are often considered part of the family, and as such, they should also be accounted for in any estate planning or family trusts.
Avoiding probate and providing privacy for loved ones is often the catalyst behind the Michigan resident's decision to establish a living trust. Yet, in many instances, the individual creates the living trust but, through a series of errors and omissions, does not realize the intended goal. Although the living trust has been established as a part of the estate planning process, the individual still has steps that must be taken in order to make it effective.
Developing an estate plan often does not reach the top of the typical Michigan resident's "to do" list. In its most basic form, estate planning involves drafting a will. Regardless, drafting wills may make the "to do" list; however, far too often this important task does not make its way to the top of the list.