Does Your Estate Plan Include Your Pets?
When it comes to estate planning, your pets might not immediately jump to
mind. But it’s important to have a plan for what will happen to your four-legged
friends if you pass away. Failure to have a plan can result in all kinds of problems:
There is a potential for surviving family members to fight over who gets to keep a
beloved pet, or even the other extreme – a pet being left homeless because
there’s nowhere to go.
One planning option that’s available is the pet trust. It might sound like it’s only
for the wealthy, but the pet trust is gaining popularity among average pet owners.
It allows you to choose a caretaker for your pet, and you also pick a separate
trustee. The caretaker is the hands-on person with whom the pet will live, and
who will provide day-to-day love and care.
The trustee is in charge of money or property that you leave, earmarked for your
pet’s care. He or she makes sure the caretaker has enough funds to buy food and
other necessities for your pet, and to pay for veterinary care – plus anything else
you want your pet to have. The trustee also keeps an eye on the caretaker, to
make sure that your pet is being cared for appropriately, according to the
instructions you set forth in the trust agreement.
A pet trust can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Your estate
planning attorney can guide you in deciding how much money should be left in
trust to care for your pet, and help you determine what care instructions should
be included in your trust agreement.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Greensboro NC of the Law Offices of
Cheryl David offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents
of Greensboro NC. To learn more about these free resources, please visit