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Have you thought about who will take care of your pets in the event you are unable to?

Our firm can assist you in making sure your pets have a safe secure place to go to in the event you can no longer care for them.

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Lucky Dog Magazine Estate Planning Article

Planning for your pets in your Trust can literally save their life.

If you become disabled or die and no family member is in your home to care for your pet Animal Control will be called and your pet will end up at the local kill shelter.

If you plan for your pet in your Trust we can put a system in place where the police or Animal Control can notify your pet’s caregiver that something has happened to you. Your caregiver will be able to take immediate possession of your pets.

Why is it so important to keep your pet out of the local kill shelters?

There is a 59% or greater chance your pet will be euthanized if it ends up at a local kill shelter. Is this what you want to have happen to your beloved pet?

By including your pet in your Trust you can save your pets life and make sure your pet’s needs will be taken care of in the event you become disabled or die.

If you think your pets won't end up at the kill shelter, think again!

Imagine this, you pass away in your home and there is no one in the home to care for your pets. Your pets are in the home with you for a week, with no one to care for them, until the police are finally called. Now imagine that the police call animal control and your beloved pets are taken to a kill animal shelter.

This is what happened to Harley and Angel, two beautiful Golden Retrievers. Per the January/February 2007 issue of Lucky Dog Magazine, “The seven-year old litter mates Harley and Angel were discovered by the police. They’d been protecting the body of the deceased owner for a week. The officers, following procedure, took the dogs to Lied Animal Shelter.”

Fortunately for Harley and Angel an out-of-town family member contacted a local rescue group who worked tirelessly to rescue Harley and Angel.

Don’t let this happen to your pets. There is no guarantee that any rescue group would be allowed to take possession of your pet. If you provide for your pet in your estate plan your trustee will have a legally enforceable document that will allow the trustee to remove the animals from the kill shelter.

This story is the exception, not the rule.

Our law firm actively educating individuals about proper estate planning for pets and including pets in trust. It takes more then an attorney to write a one line provision in your trusts that state “Fred will be the caregiver of my pet in the event of my disability or death.” What happens if Fred dies before you do? What if Fred no longer wants your pet? What if Fred wants your pet but can’t give the pet proper care because of his own disability? I proper estate plan for your pet is necessary to prepare for this situation and much more.

Our law firm provides Animal Control with your pet’s caregiver information for their computer database. If something happens to you and Animal Control is called out to take possession of your pets Animal Control has immediate access to your pet’s caregiver information and the caregiver will be called to come care for your pets. This will help keep your beloved pets out of our local kill shelter.

What provisions can you put in your trust for your pet?

Just about anything………as long as it’s legal.

You can:

  • Leave your pet directly to a person (a “caregiver”).
  • Leave money outright to the caregiver for the care of your pet. (This is not recommended as there is no guarantee the caregiver will use the money for the care of your pet nor is there a guarantee the caregiver will properly care for your pet.). Even worse, the caregiver can have your pet euthanized then keep the money you left for your pet’s care.
  • Create a Pet Panel who will monitor the caregiver to make sure your pet is being cared for in the same manner you would. You can include a veterinarian to make determinations of serious medical issues.
  • Leave money in trust for the care of your animal where the caregiver would have to give receipts to your trustee for reimbursement. This ensures the money you left to care for your pet will be there for the pet’s life and will actually be used for your pets care. (Expenses can include: paying the caregiver a salary or bonus if the animal is properly cared for, boarding, veterinary care, emergency care, food, shelter, toys, etc.
  • Leave instructions for your caretaker regarding your pets likes, dislikes, food allergies, medications, wishes regarding burial or cremation.