When you think about estate planning, you are probably quite certain that you would never forget to include any of your beloved family members. This is definitely true when it comes to the ones that walk on two legs, but what about the fine furry ones that walk on four?
Many people are surprised to hear that it is quite possible to provide for pets when an estate plan is being created. Of course, human beings live much longer than dogs and cats, so this is not going to be much of a concern if you are a relatively young adult. However, the matter can be quite relevant if you feel as though you would like to bring a pet into your home late in your life.
People of all ages can certainly enjoy the benefits of pet ownership, but it can be especially meaningful for some senior citizens. For various reasons, loneliness can become a challenge for elders, and a pet can make a world of difference. If you were to get yourself a dog as a senior, you would have a loyal companion by your side at all times. Plus, you have a renewed sense of purpose, because you would once again have a dependent of sorts relying on you for everything.
When you have a dog, you have a motivation to go for walks, and this is great for your physical and mental well-being. Getting back to the subject of loneliness, if you go to the dog park or any community park, dog lovers will invariably strike up conversations. You may even make friends that you see often when you go for your daily walks, and this is another fantastic benefit.
Even if you fully recognize the fact that a dog or a cat can enhance your life, you may take pause as a senior citizen because you are concerned about predeceasing the animal. This is fully understandable, and this is where we can enter the picture to provide the ideal solution when you are planning your estate.
You could establish a pet trust for the benefit of your dog or cat. The way that it works is you fund the trust, and you name a trustee to act as the administrator. In the trust declaration, you leave behind instructions with regard to the way that you want the pet be cared for after you are gone.
After your passing, the trustee would follow your instructions and use assets in the trust to provide for the animal in accordance with your wishes. There is no need to worry about any assets that may remain in the trust after the death of the pet. You simply name a beneficiary to assume ownership of the remaining resources at that juncture.
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If you would like to discuss pet planning or any other estate planning matter with us, we are here to help. To request a consultation, send us a message or call us at 831-649-1122.