Nevada estate planning can include pets

Pet owners often love their animals as much as other members of their families. As such, they may be concerned about what would happen to their pets if they predecease them. Fortunately, the state of Nevada allows people to create pet trusts as part of their estate planning.

When consulting with an attorney regarding the creation of an estate plan, Nevada residents should mention that they want to provide for their pets, in addition to their human loved ones. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals recommends creating one trust for all of a person’s pets, which would be less confusing than one trust for each of them. However, each individual’s circumstances are different, and the matter needs to be handled in the manner that is best for humans and animals alike.

The first objective when creating any trust, including a pet trust, is to choose a trustee. This person does not necessarily have to be the same one who will have physical custody of the animals. In any event, it needs to be someone trusted by the pet owner, and one who shares the owner’s ideals when it comes to caring for pets.

The trust can — and should — include as much detail as possible regarding the care of the pets. If there are multiple pets, a section can be drafted for each one. A beneficiary should also be named for any assets remaining in the trust after the last pet dies.

Some people may scoff at the idea of including family pets in estate planning. However, far too many pets end up in shelters or meet premature deaths because no arrangements were made. As would be the case for any other arrangements in an estate plan, it will also prevent family members from spending additional time and money in court.

Source:, “Estate planning for Fido: Providing for your pets after you’re gone“, Corbie Hill, Oct. 19, 2015

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