Current Issues in Estate Planning for Pets

December 11, 2018 at 1:00pm

If your household is anything like millions of other pet-loving households, you treat your pets like members of the family. If you were to pass away or become disabled, what would become of your pet? While you would like to think that your family or friends would assume a caretaking role in your absence, that is not always a realistic assumption. Nor would they be under any obligation to do so.

The unfortunate reality is that many pets end up abandoned when their owners are no longer alive or able to care for them. Therefore, it may be prudent to incorporate proper care for your pet in your estate plan to ensure their continued well-being. At least 46 states, plus the District of Columbia, have enacted pet trust laws. Given the profound companionship between pet owners and their pets, it is no surprise that pet trusts have gained in popularity.

Pet trusts and other estate planning methods can be utilized to protect pets and guarantee their continued care and well-being. The same attention to detail is required, as with other estate planning tools, when drafting pet trusts, to ensure that the intentions of pet owners can be implemented when they are no longer able to care for their pets.

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