What to Do When Someone Dies Without a WillWhat to Do When Someone Dies Without a Will

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What to Do When Someone Dies Without a Will

Hello, my name is Kerry. Last year my mother died suddenly. When we went through her papers, we discovered she didn't have a will. My mother had been married to another man before she met my father and I had a couple of step brothers. Unfortunately, they turned up on our doorstep and started to demand that we hand over my mother's life savings to them and their family. I contacted a lawyer who specialises in probate law. She talked me through my case and explained how we would defend it in court. Thankfully, the matter was resolved to my satisfaction and I could start to grieve for my mother. I decided to start this blog to help others who have a contested will on their hands.

Pet-Nups and Divorce: Who Gets to Keep the Pets After the Divorce?

Among other disputes that arise during divorce proceedings is the decision on who gets to keep the pet dog or cat. If you hadn't signed a pet-nup with your partner, making a choice can be hard, particularly if you are both attached to the pets. A pet-nup is an agreement that specifies who will own a pet after a divorce. Various situations should be analyzed regarding the pet-nup agreement to ensure that you reach an amicable decision during the divorce proceedings. Read on for some insights on how you can handle various pet ownership situations that arise during the separation of assets in a divorce.

One party owned a pet before marriage

If one or both parties brought a pet into the marriage, the decision as to who should receive ownership should not be a tough one even if you never signed a pet-nup. The party that possesses purchase documents for the said pet is entitled to maintain ownership even after the split. However, if the rights to ownership are passed on to the other partner through a pet-nup, the agreement will be binding on both parties.

You bought a pet together

If you and your partner purchase a pet together during your relationship, signing a pet-nup can be essential in outlining ownership rights after a divorce. However, if no pet-nup was signed as at the time of the divorce, you will be required to come to an agreement. An amicable settlement which allows one party to keep the pet can be a great way of solving the issue without involving the court. However, if you can't come to an agreement, the court will confer the rights to one party after analyzing various factors. For example, if the purchase documents are in the name of one partner, the court may rule in their favor.

Visitation rights

Unlike child custody cases where one party is given custody and the other granted visitation rights, pet-nup cases do not include visitation rights. The court treats pets as they do assets, which means that they only specify the party that gets to own the pet. Any arrangements such as taking the dog or cat over the weekend, for evening walks, or over the holidays are not legally enforceable. It will be up to you and your partner to come up with a system that allows each party to spend time with the pet.

Pet-nup cases can brew disputes during a divorce proceeding. Consult a family or divorce lawyer from a firm like Russo Lawyers on how you can handle these cases, especially if you never signed a pet-nup.