Making a Plan for Your Pets

8:29 pm California Trusts, Estate Planning

retired couple with dog e1332449149257 Making a Plan for Your PetsWhat will happen to your pets if they outlive you?  Most of us have come to view our pets as important members of our family, and if you have always had a pet, chances are they will be with you until the end.  Have you made a plan for their protection after you’re gone?

If not, there are several ways to do this.  One popular method is creating a California pet trust.  Much like creating a trust and naming a guardian for a minor child, a pet trust can be established for the care of your pet after your death or even in case of incapacitation. You will need to choose a trustee and fund the trust, as well as provide your instructions for the pet’s care and what should happen to the remaining assets after the pet dies.

Another method gaining in popularity for those who may not need to create a trust for the care of their pet is a pet protection agreement.  In the agreement, you will need to designate a caretaker for your pet and this person must sign the agreement.  You will also need to include details about the type of care that will be provided for your pet, and include the amount of money you will be leaving for your pet’s care.

If you had planned to leave provisions for your pet in your will, don’t do it.  Your will could be tied up in probate for some time, which could leave the care of your pet in limbo.  However, your will should mention the steps you have already taken to provide for your pet, whether it be through a pet trust or a pet protection agreement.

If you have questions about providing for your pets in your estate plan, contact our Costa Mesa law firm.

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