Pets are beloved members of households. For some seniors, pets act as regular companions who helps improve quality of life in later years. There are people who spend a small fortune on pet care from specialty foods to long-term veterinary care. One thing that often gets neglected, however, is thinking about what will happen to our pets if we die. Here are a few simple ways to remember your pets when developing your estate plan.
- A Will – In your will, you can include instructions on how your pets are to be cared for along with outlining a monetary gift to be used for the pet’s care. It is important to note, though, that money cannot be left directly to your pet, nor can it be required for the money to be used for the pet, only requested.
- A Trust – California law allows for a trust to be set up specifically for the care of a surviving pet. In this case, you can designate the person who will care for your pet, set aside specific funds for that use only, and leave more specific instructions regarding the care you desire your pet to receive. You can also outline what is to happen to remaining funds in the trust should the pet die before the funds are used up.
- Pet Care Organizations – If you do not have a person in mind who will be able to care for your pet as you desire, you may want to find an organization that cares for pets. Leaving sufficient funds for the organization will ensure your pet is properly cared for since these organizations may sometimes lack adequate funding.
Comprehensive Estate Planning Assistance
At the Petrov Law Firm, we want to help you plan for every aspect of your family’s future. From your mate and children to a beloved pet, you should be confident that your estate will be left to those you love the most. Call 619-344-0360 to start on your estate planning today.Read More
Pets are often our closest family member. Pets are with us when we are feeling low or suffering through pain. They bring joy to our lives and deserve to be protected once we are gone. With dogs and cats living more than 20 years (and parrots living more than 80 years), it is very common today to include a clause in your will about pet care.
If you want to include pet care as part of your estate plan, you don’t need to tell your family if you fear they will disregard your wishes. Call an estate lawyer who will help you add a few simple words to your will to ensure your pet is not left alone after you pass away.
There are a few different ways to include your pet in your will. The most simple way to ensure pet care is to set aside an exact dollar amount. In addition, you should specify a caretaker for the animal. If you choose, you can create a pet-care trust that will ensure the animal is cared for per your exact instructions — including food, grooming, and housing.
Don’t forget to include your pet in your living will instructions. While your pet might be mentioned in the will, it could be weeks before anyone reads it. If you are at risk of any kind of acute, critical care (heart attack, stroke, etc) be sure to leave instruction in your wallet. Some patients wear two medical alert tags — one for themselves and one for their pet.
Pet care can be disregarded by some as superfluous and indulgent. (Media stories, like the one about Leona Helmsley’s $12 million pet trust, don’t help.) However, pets are often important caregivers for those who live alone or live with chronic illness. Make sure you care for them as much as they care for you.Read More