Cute dog with a yellow ball

Everyone loves dogs; they bring us so much joy. Many of us infantilize them and treat them as if they were our children. Wealthy people have even dispersed entire fortunes to them: read about the Leona Helmsley affair to find out about a dog who was worth millions. We lavish praise and gifts upon them. There are custody battles fought over dogs, just as there are court battles fought over children. 

Aliesha Verma, a resident of Ontario, Canada, is currently embroiled in a legal battle over her late boyfriend’s dog, Rocco Junior. Rocco was gifted to Verma by Leonard Carvalho,  her late boyfriend, but now Carvalho’s sister is fighting for “custody” of the dog. Despite the fact that the dog has lived with Verma since he was just a puppy, Carvalho’s sister is disputing Verma’s legal ownership of the animal. In a legal motion filed against Verma, Carvalho’s sister claims that Verma never had legal ownership of the dog. 

There is a hearing to determine the fate of the dog in August. The case may set legal precedent for animal ownership. Leonard Carvalho’s Last Will doesn’t specifically state any clauses as to who owns the beloved pet. It will be interesting to see how this case plays out throughout the court system. This whole debacle is another reason to have your Will complete. In fact, offers a National Pet Will, which you can read about here.

As one legal expert put it: “Unless your pets are specifically addressed within your estate planning, “then, unfortunately, they will be treated just like any other personal property, like a car or jewelry.” 

You can read more about this ongoing legal battle, here.

As the baby boomer generation continues to age, we stand on the precipice of an unprecedented transfer of wealth. Termed the “great wealth transfer,” an estimated $68 trillion is expected to change hands from the baby boomers to their millennial heirs over the next few decades. This generational shift in wealth presents a tremendous opportunity for millennials to shape their financial futures, address societal challenges, and foster positive change in various aspects of life. In this article, we explore how the great wealth transfer to millennials will help pave the way for their success and make a lasting impact on society.

The influx of wealth into the hands of millennials will undoubtedly bring about economic empowerment. With this newfound wealth, millennials have the potential to invest in businesses, start innovative ventures, and drive economic growth. As digital natives, millennials possess a unique understanding of technology and can harness it to create disruptive business models, drive sustainable entrepreneurship, and catalyze job creation.

With the great wealth transfer, millennials will have increased access to quality education and skill development opportunities. Higher education can equip them with the knowledge and expertise needed to tackle the complex challenges of the future. Additionally, millennials can invest in vocational training, online courses, and mentorship programs to enhance their skills in emerging fields like artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and sustainable development. This focus on education and skill development will enable millennials to thrive in the rapidly evolving job market.

Millennials have consistently shown a strong inclination towards social responsibility and making a positive impact on society. As they inherit wealth, millennials will have the means to address pressing social and environmental issues. They can allocate resources towards sustainable initiatives, fund research for groundbreaking medical advancements, and support causes that align with their values. Moreover, the combination of financial resources, technological prowess, and an innate desire to effect change can drive millennials to become impactful philanthropists and catalysts for social progress.

The great wealth transfer offers millennials an opportunity to reshape economic inequalities. By utilizing their newfound wealth to invest in underprivileged communities, support social enterprises, and advocate for fair economic policies, millennials can contribute to a more equitable society. They can prioritize responsible investments, promote sustainable business practices, and engage in impact investing to bridge the wealth gap and create a more inclusive economy.

Millennials’ familiarity with technology and their appetite for innovation position them as agents of change. The great wealth transfer can fuel groundbreaking advancements in various fields, such as renewable energy, healthcare, artificial intelligence, and clean technologies. Millennials can invest in research and development, collaborate with experts, and support startups focused on cutting-edge technologies. This commitment to innovation has the potential to revolutionize industries, solve complex problems, and shape a sustainable future.

The Baby Boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, has long been regarded as one of the largest and most influential generations in history. As they are now reaching retirement, the process of Baby Boomers passing down their wealth to Millennials/GenZ/GenX, has begun. Trillions of dollars will change hands over the coming years. The beneficiaries of this wealth transfer, primarily Generation X and Millennials, will have the opportunity to inherit assets such as real estate, financial investments, and family businesses. The 2008 recession decimated the younger generations, their earning potential, and their ability to reach certain milestones. The transfer of wealth may help correct that course, somewhat. The magnitude of this transfer also raises questions about how the younger generations will manage and utilize their inherited wealth, potentially shaping their financial futures and societal outcomes in the years to come. If you reside in the United States, you may find some of these options helpful when it comes to transferring your property.

When it comes to housing, however, there may be alternatives to look at, rather than simply passing it through a Will:

  1. Passing down that money in the form of a Trust ( a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust)
  2. Gifting the house (this can include gifting property while you’re still alive)
  3. A life estate (Life estates can create a kind of joint partnership)
  4. A 1031 Exchange for Investment Properties (deferring capital gains)

You can read more about the options available, here.

Can you sue an executor? We have written about the importance of Wills. How everyone should have  a Will, to make sure that their assets go to the right people, etc. Have you ever wondered what happens when a disgruntled beneficiary decides to sue the executor of a Will? Is it to get a larger amount of money from a deceased person’s estate? Is it because they felt slighted by an executor? 

The executor is in charge of managing someone’s estate when the person in question passes on. This is listed in the deceased’s Last Will and Testament. The deceased person’s estate and assets are dispersed to the beneficiaries of the Last Will. There are rights that executors have when it comes to dispersing assets, including the right to collect a fee for their time and effort. This is all depending on where you live and what the laws are. Beneficiaries, on the other hand, have the right to request that an executor (for whatever reason) step down from their role, and upon request, receive updated information on the deceased’s estate, including information on the financial details of what was left behind. Again, this is dependent upon where you live. 

If a beneficiary feels that the executor is misappropriating funds from the estate, then the beneficiary may try to sue the executor, who is supposed to act in the best interests of the deceased’s estate. To sue an executor would mean a lot of paperwork and evidence of misappropriating funds. This would include the following: Failure to provide the proper financial statements regarding the estate when asked, delaying the dispersing of the assets without any proper reasoning provided, supposedly favouring one beneficiary over the other, not properly managing the estate, using the assets in the estate to make extremely risky investments, and an executor pretty much failing to meet the legal and financial obligations of his/her position. 

All of these can be grounds for the potential to sue an executor. You can read more, here.