As the protector and supporter of your pet, no one can provide for them better than you can. After all, you love them, you feed them, and you do everything possible to make sure that they have a healthy and happy life. So what happens if you are no longer around? Will someone volunteer to take care of your pet? Will family and friends know what to do to give your pet the same quality of life that you had? All of these questions and concerns can be addressed and outlined in your estate plan. Because yes, you can make preparations for your pets future by including it in your estate plan, along with other wishes.
It can be scary to think about what would happen to your pets if you were to die before they do, or become incapacitated and unable to communicate your wishes for them. How is the court going to know what to do with your pets if you have not left behind any instructions in the form of a legally-binding document? While preparing for your pet’s care when you are no longer around can cause some unease, planning ahead of time can make all the difference in what happens to your pet’s future. As your lawyer may offer, similar to an estate planning attorney at Silverman Law Office, PLLC, here is a quick estate planning checklist so you can get started drafting your pet trust as soon as possible:
- Choose the pet’s guardian, and be sure that this person has consented to this role so there are no issues in the future.
- Write down detailed preferences for your pet’s care, as this information can be useful immediately after the death of an owner.
- Formalize your plans in a pet protection agreement or pet trust, as these legally-binding documents can offer care for your pets when the owner is not able to care for them.
- Appoint a beneficiary, individual or charity organization, who will receive the funds in the trust after your pet passes away.
One of the most powerful legal documents you can create to prepare for your pet’s future is by establishing a pet trust. This gives you the ability to set aside funds they may need in the future, and make stipulations for what kind of care you want your pet to receive. Through a pet trust, you have full control over each aspect of your pet’s care, their feeding schedules, preferred veterinarian, and more. A pet trust is revocable, so you can update it as you so wish over the course of time. Through your pet trust, you can appoint a separate trustee to oversee the funds for your pet. A pet trust is different from including your pet in your will, as this document would become in effect if you were to become incapacitated or disabled. A pet trust is enforceable by the court system too, so you can rest assured knowing your pet is safe and well cared for if you pass away before they do.