Posts Tagged ‘pet trust’
Friday, August 10th, 2012
There is no doubt we are a nation of pet lovers. Unfortunately, the law as it is currently written views pets as property, so providing for your pet in your will won’t work. So how do you protect your favorite fur-person? With a pet trust.
To create a pet trust, you should first discuss your wishes for your pet(s) with a Personal Family Lawyer® in Orange County so your pet trust will be executed properly and will be legally enforceable after you are gone.
When planning for your pet trust, you should:
Choose someone to act as trustee. Be sure you discuss your intentions beforehand with your potential pet trustee to ensure they are both willing and able to carry out your wishes.
Choose a successor trustee. If your first choice for trustee is unable to act as trustee, a second person should be named as successor trustee.
Choose caregivers. Some people elect to name a financially responsible individual as trustee and another person as caregiver for their pet(s). Be sure to specify a primary and secondary caregiver.
Provide ID information. To help prevent fraud, you should include identification information in your pet trust, including photos of your pet(s) and microchip ID numbers.
Give care instructions. Provide care details for your pet(s), including how often they should be taken to the vet for check-ups, nutritional requirements and any other healthcare information.
Establish how much money is needed to care for your pet(s). You need to be realistic, because large amounts left for pets could be subject to a challenge from other heirs. Be sure to figure in the cost of trust administration as well.
Select a beneficiary. When the last pet you have provided for in your pet trust dies, you should name the person or entity that will receive the leftover funds in the trust.
Supply final instructions. Leave instructions for having your pet(s) buried or cremated.
If you’d like to learn more about how to provide for loved ones after you’ve gone or have other Orange County estate planning questions, call our office today to schedule a time for us to sit down and talk. We normally charge $750 for a Family Wealth Planning Session, but because this planning is so important, I’ve made space for the next two people who mention this article to have a complete planning session at no charge. Call today and mention this article.
Monday, December 19th, 2011
Estate planning attorneys are adept at navigating a wide variety of situations when it comes to providing the right services for their clients. In some cases, a pet trust is something that can offer peace of mind, as well as a better life for companion animals that are left behind.
Putting together a will and various trusts affords a lot of benefits. They provide for minor children who have lost a parent, offer medical directives for individuals who become incapacitated, and allow you to pass on your assets in the way you desire. It’s not unusual for clients to overlook the importance of caring for some of the most helpless family members: their pets.
When an individual passes away, his or her estate can be held up for a considerable time in probate court. Even if you’ve gotten all your ducks in a row by working with an Orange County estate planning attorney, the time it takes for allocations to happen can be a problem for pets who have no one to care for them immediately. Setting up a pet trust can avoid situations where animals have to stay in the home on their own for an indeterminate period of time.
Instead, they clearly outline who will be caring for the pets and can even provide for their welfare. Sometimes it’s reasonable to offer compensation to the caregiver, and it is realistic to factor in financial support for the animal’s basic needs, such as food and veterinary care. Best of all, this can go into effect immediately, which means that your pets will be cared for right away instead of being dependent upon a court process.
Estate planning attorneys in Orange County don’t just set up pet trusts for your death, either. They can help you create a plan that allows for care of the animal if you simply are unable to do so anymore. Many pet owners find that this adds the benefit of still being able to visit with their pet, as the new caregiver can be directed to bring the animal for visits to a nursing home or rehabilitation center. In the end, this means that you can still see your friend, even if you aren’t physically able to care from him or her any longer. Of course, you want to choose a caregiver who is willing to do this, so it’s important to have a conversation with whomever you choose before naming them in the trust.
Talk to your estate planning attorney here in Orange County to determine if a pet trust is the right choice for you and your companion animals.
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