Joan Rivers’ death has caused deep sadness throughout Florida and the rest of the nation. Indeed, the 81-year-old comedian brought joy and laughter to millions of fans. In spite of the suddenness of her loss, though, there is one bright side to her death, and it has to do with the intelligent way she finalized her will planning and estate documents — especially with regard to her familial heirs and her pets.
Indeed, Joan Rivers incorporated a family trust document into her estate planning. She utilized this trust vehicle to purchase her New York City apartment, making the transfer of its ownership to her heirs all the more easier. Further, her she made it clear in her trust that her only daughter, Melissa, would receive the bulk of her belongings. In addition, the majority of the value of her estate would go to Melissa and her grandson. The size of Rivers’ estate is estimated to be somewhere around $150 million, so the inheritance her daughter and grandson are set to receive is likely to be considerable.
With regard to her pet dogs, Joan Rivers also made sure that they would be completely cared for following her death. Her two prized animals were two rescue dogs that lived with her at her Manhattan apartment. The estate plan also covered the care of two more dogs that lived with her at her California home. According to Rivers’ goddaughter, the comedian was in love with her animals, and they meant a great deal to her. She said that Rivers’ treated her animals like they were members of her family.
Numerous Florida residents could probably be said to love their animals even more than their family members. As such, it is not uncommon for pets to be included in estate documentation and will planning information. Whether it is Pierre the Parrot or Sylvester the Snake, estate planners can create a special trust document for their furry friends to provide for their care long after they have died.
Source: DailyFinance, “What Joan Rivers Just Taught Pet Lovers About Estate Planning” Dan Caplinger, Sep. 11, 2014