What About My Fur Babies?
When people think of estate planning, they often think of things like making sure their daughter gets their wedding rings, or that the kids know that they should sell the house and split the proceeds. If they have minor children, they think about who they would want to care for them and how they would make sure that person has the means to do so. But what about your beloved pets? Of course, everyone says they love your dog and they would be happy to take him should anything ever happen to you, but pets are a lot of work, they disrupt lives, and not everyone will love your fur baby as you do. (And if a horse is your pet of choice, that is a whole other type of responsibility!)
Every year millions of pets end up in shelters after their owners unexpectedly pass away or have to go into long-term care. How do you ensure the ones you love that have fur, fins, feathers or hooves will be well cared for for the rest of their lives?
Many people add a clause in their Will, “I leave Fido to my sister to live out the rest of his days”. They think because they mentioned their pet, their wishes have been shared and their pet will have a place for life. But what if your sister doesn’t actually want Fido, can’t afford vet bills, has an unexpected allergy, or travels a lot? What happens in the time between you no longer being there to care for him and your will actually going through probate?
The better way of planning for your pets is through a Pet Trust. The beauty of providing for the care of your pets through a trust is that their needs can be immediately met without any time in limbo while the probate process works through the court system. You can provide a hierarchy of people for their care, share their individual needs, and even their favorite activities. You will be able to set aside a sum of money for their expenses and dictate how their medical needs should be met. By setting up a pet trust you can ensure that the non-humans that have loved you unconditionally live out the rest of their lives feeling your love in return.
If you would like to discuss a Pet Trust with one of our attorneys, give us a call at 978-657-7437 to schedule a Strategic Planning Session!