Providing for pets during estate planning

Thousands of Nevada residents consider their pets to be part of the family. Therefore, it stands to reason that when they engage in estate planning to provide for their human family members, they should also make arrangements for their pets. Far too many pets that are left behind end up in shelters or worse because no plan was in place to care for them after the incapacitation or death of their owners.

The most important decision to make regarding the future care of a pet is who will be responsible for its care. Anyone under consideration should have the opportunity to decide whether to take on the responsibility. Moreover, the pet should spend time with a prospective new owner to ensure that it is a good fit. Even when an individual shares the same ideas regarding pet ownership, there is no guarantee that a particular animal will fit into that person’s household.

Every pet has its own idiosyncrasies, and those traits need to be understood by the person or persons who are willing to take them in when it becomes necessary. In addition to behavioral traits, many pets are only able to tolerate a certain type of food and has gone to the same veterinarian all of its life. Pets can suffer from afflictions such as allergies, diabetes and other ailments as well that may require special attention.

All of these issues and more need to be addressed during estate planning. Some Nevada residents may set up a trust to provide the appointed individual with funds for the pet’s upkeep. As with any other trust, a pet care trust also needs to contain certain language and comply with certain state laws in order to be considered valid. It should be taken care of along with all of the other estate planning documents an individual needs.

Source: care2.com, “Does Your Pet Have an Estate Plan?“, July 1, 2015

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