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The Heritage Law Center, LLC Blog

Pet Trust Problems for Simpsons Creator

POSTED ON: December 14, 2015

When animal-lover and The Simpsons co-creator, Sam Simon, died early in 2015, he left behind a hefty estate, much of which was slated to go directly to non-profit animal philanthropy groups. In creating a trust, it seems Simon did all of the right things to take care of the people and issues he felt most deeply about. He even made sure his pets were taken care of.

However, at least one person is coming forward alleging that he had a verbal agreement with Tyson which would provide the $140,000 necessary each year to care for Simon’s potentially violent dog. The trustee maintains that the trust is being executed as it was written. And yet, those who knew Simon best (including his personal nurse) insist that things are not being handled the way they know Simon would have wanted them to be.

The majority of us will not leave behind an estate as large and unwieldy as Mr. Simon did, but there are lessons we can take away regardless:

  • It is important to make sure you select an executor who understands your wishes fully and is committed to following through on them
  • if you have pets and want to make sure that they are cared for after your passing, write a plan for their care and involve a willing caregiver in your plans
  • Make sure you work with an estate planning attorney to get your plans in writing as a verbal agreement will not hold up in court.

Contact us to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session, where we can identify the best strategies for you to provide for and protect the financial security of your loved ones.