Pet Planning

Including a Pet Trust in Your Estate Plan

If you are one of the millions of Americans who own a pet the chances are you consider that pet to be part of your family. As part of your family it only seems right that your pet should be included in your estate plan. Accomplishing this goal can be as simple as creating a pet trust.

At Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider we understand that a pet is more than just an animal-your pet is a family member. As a member of the family your pet deserves to be included in your estate plan. Contact us today by calling 503-241-1215 or through our online contact form to discuss how we can ensure that your pet is well provided for in the event of your death or incapacity.

The Danger of Leaving Your Pet Out Of Your Estate Plan

Collectively, Americans own over 78 million dogs and 86 million cats. Unfortunately, statistics tell us that as many as half a million dogs and cats end up in a shelter each year because their owner failed to make provisions for their care in the event of the owner’s death or incapacity. The reality is that a tragic accident could result in your incapacity or death tomorrow. If that happens what will happen to your pet? A family member or close friend may step in and take over the care of your pet, but there is no way to be sure of that unless you make formal provisions in an estate plan.

Creating a Pet Trust

There are actually two aspects that warrant consideration when it comes to pet planning: day-to-day care and financial cost. You may have someone in mind whom you are certain would be willing to handle the day-to-day care of your pet, but he or she may not have the financial means to take on the responsibility. Simply gifting funds to your proposed caregiver is an option; however, that option does not allow you any continued oversight nor does it allow you to create legally binding terms of care. A pet trust allows you to accomplish all of these goals.

The only difference between a pet trust and any other trust is that the beneficiary is an animal. When you create your pet trust you will appoint a trustee, who may be the same person who has the day-to-day care of your pet or may be a neutral third party. You may also include terms such as what veterinarian to use, what type of dog food to feed your dog, or even whether your pet is allowed to breed. In essence, a pet trust can provide you with the peace of mind of knowing that your pet will be well cared for long after you are no longer able to provide the care yourself.

The estate planning attorneys at Law Offices of Richard B. Schneider, LLC know what your pet means to you. More importantly we know how to protect your pet in the event of your incapacity or death.  Contact us today by calling 503-241-1215 or through our online contact form so that we can begin creating your pet trust today.

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