It is important to consider the well-being of your pet when you are planning your estate. Countless pets are left homeless each year after their owners pass away. You can be certain that your pet is properly cared for if you take the appropriate steps in advance.
An Imperfect Solution
One way that you could provide for your pet would be to name a person in your will as a caretaker. You leave this individual a direct bequest, and you leave behind instructions for the care of the pet.
There are some potential difficulties that can arise if you take this route.
Let’s say that the caretaker is perfectly honest and willing to take care of the pet throughout its life. If the caretaker passes away, the pet could wind up homeless in spite of your efforts.
If the pet dies soon after you do, the caretaker will be able to pocket most of the bequest.
What if the caretaker isn’t entirely honest? From a legal perspective, the caretaker can simply keep the bequest and refuse to care for the animal.
If you create a pet trust for the benefit of your pet, you can provide for the animal in a completely safe and effective manner.
You name a trustee after funding the trust. You could also name a successor or successors who would replace the trustee if he or she was to pass away.
The trustee is required by law to follow the terms of the trust. Because of this, you can be certain that your instructions will be followed to the letter.
When you create the trust agreement you can name a beneficiary who would assume ownership of anything that may be left over in the trust after the death of the pet.
Campbell and Aptos California Pet Planning Special Report
To learn about pet planning in detail, take a moment to download our special report on the subject. You can access the report through this link: Campbell and Aptos California Pet Planning Report.
Arrange a Pet Planning Consultation
If you would like to discuss Campbell and Aptos California pet planning with a licensed and experienced estate planning attorney, contact us to schedule a free consultation.