Although many pet owners view their animals as part of the family, the law recognizes pets as possessions. This means that after you pass away, your beloved pet's care might be left in limbo while probate matters are settled. Every pet owner should do their estate planning with their pet in mind.
Here are two tips you can use while planning your own estate to ensure that your furry friend's care won't be left unsettled after you pass away.
1. Make arrangements with a charity organization for your pet's care.
If you don't have a friend or family member who is willing to provide a permanent home for your pet after you pass away, you might want to consider partnering with a charitable organization to ensure your animal will receive the care he or she needs while waiting to be adopted out to a new forever home.
In exchange for a charitable donation in your pet's name, some shelters and rescue organizations are prepared to take ownership of your pet after you pass. These organizations agree to use part of your charitable donation to support your pet's care until a suitable new home can be found, and any money left over will be used to help other pets in their system.
2. Set up a pet trust.
Working with a qualified attorney to set up a trust fund for your pet can be a great way to ensure he or she will receive adequate care after your death.
A pet trust works in much the same manner as a traditional trust. You designate a trustee that will be responsible for holding the cash you have set aside for your pet's care in trust after your death. This cash can be used by the trustee to provide shelter, food, water, and veterinary care for the life of your pet (or over a span of 21 years, whichever comes first).
Setting up a pet trust can be a simple way for you to remove the financial burdens associated with pet ownership and allow a trusted friend or family member to access the funds they will need to give your pet the care he or she deserves after your death.
Taking the time to consider your pet as you engage in estate planning with your attorney can be beneficial. Consider working with a charitable organization or setting up a pet trust to ensure that your beloved animal will be cared for in the event of your death. An attorney like Lisa Cappolella Attorney at Law may be able to help.