Parman & Easterday’s estate planning attorneys can help you protect the people and animals you love and with whom you share your life. We understand your pets are beloved family members. We will work with you to help ensure your pets are cared for if something happens to you.
Each year, vulnerable pets end up in shelters because their owners become incapacitated or pass away without a plan for their in place.
The ASPCA indicates approximately 7.6 million companion animals are surrendered yearly; 2.7 million of which are euthanized. You do not want your pets to be at risk. Call Parman & Easterday today to find out how our legal team can help you ensure your animals will always be safe.
Protecting Your Pet In The Estate Planning Process
When you create your estate plan, you need to think about who will care for your animal in case you become incapacitated or pass away. The most basic and simple solution is to outline who will become the guardian of your pet. Before finalizing your plan, you should discuss it with your intended guardian, as well as work with Parman & Easterday to provide instructions so the guardian can begin caring for your pet if you become sick, get hurt, or pass away. It is also best to name a backup guardian, since life is uncertain and your chosen person may be unable to care for your pet when the time comes.
Naming a guardian for your pet is a good starting point, but you may also want to clear away any financial obstacles associated with providing for your pet’s care. If you want to leave money for the care of your companion animal, you could do so by using a will. However, a will is not a very effective way to provide for a pet, as it cannot inherit or manage the money. Therefore, a provision in your will providing money for the care of your pet often results in no real control over how the funds are used after your death.
In many cases, a well crafted and properly funded trust can better ensure your animal can be cared for to the standards you prefer. You can name a trustee – who is in charge of managing the trust assets and vested with the responsibility to use the trust assets in accordance with your instructions. This responsibility is called a “fiduciary duty,” which is the highest duty a person can owe under the law.
You can create a trust document specifying exactly how the money should be used– such as buying certain products for your pets or paying for the animal’s medical needs – and the trustee must use the money as you direct in the trust document.
By creating a trust, you can have peace-of-mind in knowing that the assets you set aside will be used for your pet’s care. You will also ensure the entrusted caregiver will not be forced to make difficult choices about your pet’s care due to potential financial limitations that may arise.
Getting Help From Estate Planning Attorneys
Parman & Easterday’s estate planning attorneys can help you with your pet plan, whether you just want simple provisions for your pet’s care or you want to take the strongest possible steps to keep them safe.
To find out more about how we can help you with making a pet plan, and with other key components of the estate planning process, join us for a free seminar. If you are ready to create your personalized plans for your pets, your other family members, and your own future, give us a call today at (405) 843-6100 or contact us online today.