Estate Planning Lawyer
If you are like many people, you consider your pet a member of your family. You would do anything to ensure its health and happiness. Besides feeding your pet a healthy diet and scheduling regular vet checkups, consider setting a pet trust. The estate planning document states your wishes for your pet and sets aside money for its care.
Here are some tips for establishing a pet trust.
Name a Caretaker
If you should die unexpectedly, you want to make sure that your pet is taken care of. Therefore, you should name a caretaker that you trust to look after your furry family member. This person should like animals and have the time and patience to look after a pet. After all, taking care of a pet can be a lot of work. Be sure to talk to the person before naming him or her as the caretaker. You want to make sure that the person is up for the responsibility.
Consider naming an alternate caretaker in case your first choice can’t fulfill the role anymore.
Appoint a Trustee
A trustee is responsible for distributing funds for your pet’s care, including food and medical expenses. This person is there to manage pet-care funds and make sure that the pet’s caretaker does not spend the money too fast. Taking care of a pet is more expensive than people may think, and you do not want your pet’s caretaker to run out of money prematurely.
Identify Your Pet in the Trust
Unfortunately, scams can happen. That is why you should identify your pet in the trust with its photos, description and even microchip numbers.
Give Instructions About Your Pet’s Care
Everyone has different wishes for their pet’s care. That is why you should provide detailed instructions on how you want your pet cared for after you are gone. For example, your pet might have skin allergies and need to eat a certain food. Or your pet may need to take prescription medications every day. If you provide detailed information about your pet’s care, you can help avoid confusion.
Fund Your Pet’s Trust
From medical expenses to food, taking care of a pet can get costly. That is why you will want to fund your pet’s care trust properly. If you don’t think that you will have enough cash to put in the trust, you may be able to draw from other assets, like savings accounts and life insurance policies.
Consulting an Estate Planning Lawyer
If you need help with establishing a pet trust, you should get in touch with an experienced estate planning lawyer as soon as possible. A pet trust can be a complex document, so you want someone with knowledge and experience to help you. A lawyer can make sure that your pet trust states your wishes for your pet and is funded properly.
You should schedule a meeting with an estate planning lawyer according to our friends Davis, Johnson & Kallal.