For many people living in Lee County, Florida, their pets are just like family. If your pet falls into this category, it makes sense to plan for its care in the event you become ill or pass away. It is a good idea to make your wishes known regarding your pet in your last will and testament. This way you can be at peace knowing that your beloved animal will be cared for properly after you are gone or unable to care for your pet yourself.
Something that you may want to consider is setting up a trust for your pet. This can be included in your Living Trust or in your will. If you become ill or disabled and cannot care for your pet, a provision in your living trust can appoint a caretaker for the animal and give the person who handles the trust administration duties guidelines for giving the caretaker resources to care for the pet.
The Pet Trust will be effective as long as the animal is alive; once it passes on, the leftover funds will be passed on to the beneficiary of your choice. If you do not indicate a beneficiary, the courts will decide who will inherit the money.
If you are interested in finding out how you can ensure your pets will be well taken care of in the event that you can no longer do it yourself, you may wish to speak with an attorney experienced in estate planning law. Doing so can ensure that your wishes will be carried out how you would like.
Source: My San Antonio, “How to include pets in your estate plan,” Paul Premack, Feb. 24, 2014