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Cook County Probate Court Allows Cat to Live

 Posted on April 06, 2012 in Estate Execution

In 1988, Georgia Lee Dvorak designated in her Will that any cats she owns at the time of her death be put to sleep in a "painless, peaceful manner." As reported by the Chicago Tribune, the 76-year-old recently passed away - but thanks to the 5/3 bank trust officers responsible for administering her estate, her 11-year-old house cat "Boots" will get to spend the rest of her days in a no-kill shelter.

There was no precedent for this type of case in Illinois, but attorneys for 5/3 argued that killing a healthy house cat would violate public policy, especially when alternative arrangements have been found. They also pointed to the fact that Ms. Dvorak donated a large portion of her $1.4 million estate to animal-related causes, and a similar Pennsylvania case where the court ruled against a decedent's dog being put to death.

On April 2, a Cook County probate court found in favor of 5/3, and ordered that Boots be sent to Cats are Purrsons Too, the shelter which committed to caring for her for the rest of his life. The shelter received a $2,000 endowment, half which came from Ms. Dvorak's estate, and the other half from 5/3. Ms. Dvorak had no human survivors.

To ensure that your wishes are carried out following your death, employ a top Illinois estate planning lawyer to draft your Will and other important estate planning documents.

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