When you are planning for your twilight years and the ultimate distribution of your assets there is one thing that is all but certain: the people that you leave your assets to will be glad to have them. This is not to be flippant, and of course your loved ones will mourn your passing. But once you are gone there is nothing that is going to change that, and as they say, you can’t take it with you.
For the most part the things that you will be leaving behind will be securities, cash, real property, business interests, and personal valuables. But you may have one thing that you find to be of great value that some others may not: your pet.
Pets can slip through the cracks when you are planning your estate because people generally outlive their fine furry friends, and though you can hope for the best you need to prepare for any eventuality. And, pets such as parrots have quite a long life expectancy and may outlive their owners a number of years.
The simplest and most direct way to provide for your pet would be to identify someone who agrees to act as caretaker and leave this person the pet in your will along with a bequest to handle ongoing expenses. It is a good idea to allow your potential caretaker and the pet time to bond when possible so that they are well acquainted with one another, which will make the transition easier should it ever take place.
In many states it is legal to set up a trust that is intended to provide for a pet or pets. Oklahoma and Missouri are two of those states. You fund the trust, appoint a trustee and someone to care for your pet. They can be one and the same person, or you could have a bank or trust company serve as the trustee.
Whether you choose to provide for the care of your pet through a will or a trust, the most important thing is to find someone who will love the pet as much as you do if at all possible. If you discuss the matter with your family members it is very likely that a suitable candidate will emerge if you don’t already have someone in mind.
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