Russ Cook & Associates, PC
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A plan for Fido: pet trusts and estate planning

Estate planning is incredibly important for those with significant assets. The families left behind after the death of a loved one can take some comfort in financial security and be safeguarded from tax burdens.

For many of us, the family we leave behind is not made solely of human beings. Our pets are often just as important to our quality of life and give us as much love as the rest of our family. In the event of our death, we want to be sure those animals are taken care of and continue to have a good life.

Tennessee law offers an opportunity for individuals to do just that. Those who are creating an estate plan can establish a trust to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust is terminated upon the death of the animal or, if the trust was created for more than one animal, the death of the last surviving animal.

Individuals can appoint a trustee, trust advisor, trust protector or other person. If no such person is appointed with the trust, a person can be appointed by the court. Additionally, anyone who has an interest in the welfare of the animal can request the court to appoint a person to enforce the trust or remove an appointed person.

There is quite a bit more that needs to go into an estate plan besides a pet trust, but this is one aspect to consider adding to your plan if you have a pet whose wellbeing you want to secure upon the event of your death.

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What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • Star

    “I recently moved to TN from MN and needed to re-do my trust documents, including a pet trust, to be compliant with TN law, and to find an entity able to act as my trustee. Russ and his staff were able to answer all of my questions quickly and efficiently, and I am comfortable and confident in Russ's representation and that my new documents will act as they are intended, when the time comes. They even put me in touch with a trustee who was involved in the process as well, which was so helpful. This was a big item on my move "to-do" list, and I am so pleased to have it completed!”

    - Kim J.
  • Star

    “We would definitely recommend Russ and any of his Associates. They are all very professional, efficient and well versed in Estate Planning.”

    - Cheryl H.
  • Star

    “Experienced, Knowledgeable, Friendly, Professionals all work here. I'm grateful my parents used this firm to create and maintain their Trust throughout the years. Working with the folks at Russ Cook & Associates, primarily Alex, Debby and Trina made the process comfortable working through Probate, Estate assets and Executing the Trust.”

    - Kemp S.
  • Star

    “Excellent work. They worked with us and never allowed us to miss a deadline. We definitely appreciated their help and would gladly recommend them to anyone seeking help with their estate planning.”

    - Mark S.
  • Star

    “Everyone we came in contact with was wonderful. The staff and Russ treated us like family at all times.”

    - June S.
  • Star

    “Being new to the area having moved from out of state, I was searching for an attorney to assist in elder estate planning for my mother. I was referred to Russ Cook & Associates and found the firm as a whole and Russ Cook himself to be very helpful and accommodating to my needs, as well as experienced and very knowledgeable on the matter I was seeking assistance. I would definitely recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Brad H.
  • Star

    “Mr. Cook and his staff were phenomenal to work with on my will. They are extremely professional and friendly and made the process seamless. They go above and beyond!”

    - Amber C.
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    “Russ took the time to answer my questions by email, so that I knew exactly what would take place when I visited his office and his time as well as mine was used efficiently. I appreciated his thoroughness and his professionalism, as well as that of his staff.”

    - JoAnn G.
  • Star

    “Overwhelmingly positive experience.”

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  • Star

    “I have been a client for many years. Russ and his staff listen to our concerns, come up with a plan and help us act on it with guidance and professionalism. I'd highly recommend Russ Cook and Associates.”

    - Dr. S. D'Amico
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5141 Virginia Way
Suite 220
Brentwood, TN 37027

Phone: 615-200-9117
Fax: 615-370-5938
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Office Hours:
Monday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Tuesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Wednesday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Thursday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Summer Hours Office:
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM on Fridays
May 24th Through August 30th

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