Do You Need a Pet Trust?

Pets GaloreMany folks forget about what would happen to their pets if they were no longer there to provide a safe and happy home for them.

If you want to leave money for a beloved pet’s care, you can do that in your estate plan.  In fact, unless you plan otherwise in your will or trust since pets are considered personal property and would automatically go to the named beneficiaries in your estate plan.  If you have no estate plan, the state in which you died will have a plan for your pets which usually would be that they go to whoever would inherit your estate under state law. However, there are some other ways to leave money for a pet’s care.

Leave money to a pet-loving friend. You can leave money to a trusted friend for the care of your pet, by making a gift to that person in your will. It’s an informal approach to providing for your pet, but it often works just fine.

Pet trust. All 50 states and DC now let people create a pet trust to hold money for the benefit of a pet. You name a person in charge of managing and spending the money, with a written set of instructions. It’s more formal than leaving a monetary gift to a friend. However, unlike the gift method, it’s legally binding.

Money to a pet rescue organization. You could also leave money to a pet rescue organization, like a no-kill sanctuary, for the lifetime care of your pet. This type of gift will benefit both the organization and your pet.

Many of us think of our pets as members of the family. It makes sense to arrange for their continued care, just as you would any other beloved family member.

Reference: Milwaukee Community Journal (June 5, 2018) “What Happens to Your Pet When You Die–How to Plan for Them Now”



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Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.