Although many people may be aware of the importance of planning for the future including long-term care and life after death for loved ones, there is another important part of estate planning that may get overlooked. Any person in the Hudson County area who owns a pet should remember to include that pet in his or her long term plans.
According to one report, in 2005 more than half a million pets had to be killed because their owners either died or became unable to care for them. Many of these deaths could have been prevented if the pets’ owners had made provisions for their animals before they passed away or became incapacitated. There are a few things a pet owner can do in order to ensure his or her pet will be taken care of.
One option to protect a person’s pet in the event of death or a debilitating condition is to create a trust. It is not exactly the same as setting up a trust for a child, but the process is very similar. It can help ensure that if someone else takes over the care of a person’s pet, he or she will have some additional funds to take care of the pets’ needs. A person can also set up provisions in his or her will, but this is only valid in the event of a death.
The right estate-planning attorney has the knowledge and experience to handle wills and trusts for anyone who is planning for his or her loved ones after death or impairment, even if that loved one is a pet.
Source: The Star Ledger, “Assure your pet's future in case you're not there,” Pat Summers, August 11, 2013.