Salt Lake City, UT asked in Animal / Dog Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Utah

Q: My neighbor, a close friend, asked me to take his dog when he died. He died of cancer last week.

When he was alive, he told me that he put his dog in his will and specifically told me that it was important (he was acting very cryptic and secretive about it). His estranged wife keeps asking me if I'm going to keep her. I told her yes, and that I suspected my friend (her estranged husband) left money for the dogs care (shots and spayed). She didn't argue that point and agreed to give me the money for those appointments. My question is, if he left a monetary amount for the care of his dog if I keep her, in his will, would I be notified if I'm named beneficiary? Given that I'm not family, can I find out if I'm named in that will? I understand that animals cannot be given money or property, but if I'm named specifically does she legally have to notify me? I'm in Utah.

1 Lawyer Answer
Wesley Winsor
Wesley Winsor
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Saint George, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: If you are to receive his dog (which is deemed "property") then you are a beneficiary of the will. As such, you are entitled to see the Will unless the Will says otherwise (something like, no beneficiary is entitled to a copy of the will and will be subject to judicial review only).

Trusts are more common these days than wills. It may be in your neighbors trust. If so the same rules apply as stated previously.

I hope this helps.


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