Pet Planning Trust Lawyer
Family Law Lawyer
If you own a pet, you likely love it as if it were a member of your family. Naturally, you may have concerns about your pet’s future, especially if you are beginning to plan out your estate. To ensure your pet is well cared for after your death, or incapacitation, it is important that you plan ahead.
Why You Should Think About Your Pet’s Future
Every year thousands of cats, dogs, and other animals end up in a shelter or on the streets because their own died or became incapacitated. In lieu of a person’s death, confusion and grief can arise. This can cause the pet to be forgotten about. When the pet is remembered, it is possible that there is no one who can take care of it. If you care about your pet, it is prudent that you make plans for your pet as soon as possible.
Informal Agreements May Not Be Sufficient
Often the owner of a pet will make an informal agreement with someone else regarding the wellbeing of their beloved pet. These informalities typically involve a verbal conversation in which the other person agrees to provide care to the pet after their owner dies.
If you are making an informal agreement with another person, you should make sure they can be trusted. This is especially true when you will leave them money which is meant to be used for the pet.
Including a Pet in a Will is Not the Best Choice
As a trust lawyer, we have known of people to include a pet in their weill. This is not a good idea as the will typically must go through probate which means the pet may not receive their money for months or even years. Second, a will does not help a pet if their owner is incapacitated, and third, a pet cannot directly inherit assets from a will. A person will need be left the pets’ money, and it will be up to them to ensure the pet is taken care of.
A Pet Trust is a Good Option
A pet trust is one of the best options. A trust lawyer can develop a pet trust that bypasses probate and gives your pet immediate access to money for their continued care. The trust can be activated upon your death or incapacitation. You will also be able to state who is in charge of the pet’s daily care, what veterinarian the animal will see, what food the pet will eat, and so forth. A pet trust also gives the guardian a legal responsibility to care for the pet. Failure to do so could result in consequences.
A trust attorney Roseville, CA offers can provide you with comprehensive legal assistance when you are ready to plan out all of your pet’s needs. A pet planning trust lawyer can help whether you wish to develop a simple provisional plan for who should care for your pet in the event of your death or incapacitation, or you want to ensure your pet is financially provided for until their own death.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and pet trusts.