Today, many people rightly recognize that their pets are members of the family. This means it is important not only to provide care for pets during a lifetime, but also to make sure that pets are taken care of if their owner passes first. Beloved animals should not be causalities of an owner’s death, and advanced provisions are increasingly made by loving pet owners to ensure their dog, cat, or other companion animal will always be safe and provided for.
Amen, Gantner & Capriano – Your Estate Matters, L.L.C. can provide comprehensive assistance with all of your pet planning needs. Whether you want to make simple provisions for who should care for your pet in case of death or incapacity or you want to take additional steps to ensure your pet is always provided for financially, we can help. Give us a call at 314-966-8077 to get a personalized pet plan in place and to find out answers to some of your key questions about pet planning including:
- When is pet planning necessary?
- What is involved in planning for a pet?
- How can a St. Louis estate planning lawyer help with pet planning?
When is Pet Planning Necessary?
Pet planning is necessary whenever you have an animal who is depending upon you for care. Some animals, like parrots, have very long life spans and making provisions for their care is especially important. However, a tragedy could happen at any time that takes your life or leaves you incapacitated and unable to care for yourself, much less care for a pet.
Your animal companion has been there for you and you owe it to your pets to make sure someone is there for them no matter what. This means that as soon as you bring an animal into your home, you should make provisions for the pet’s care if something happens to you. Far too many animals end up in shelters or are left homeless on the streets because of an untimely death of an owner or because an owner becomes seriously ill or injured. When you have a pet plan in place, you can ensure that this terrible fate never befalls an animal that you care about.
What is Involved in Planning for a Pet?
It is up to you what provisions you want to make to ensure that your pet is properly cared for if you cannot take care of the animal yourself. Some of the most basic steps that you can take include making an incapacity plan and making an estate plan which details who should be entrusted with care of your animal if you become ill, injured, or pass away.
You can also do much more than just use a will to name a new owner for your pet if something happens to you. Caring for a pet can be expensive, especially if your animal has special dietary needs, requires regular grooming, or develops any medical problems. You may not want to burden your pet’s new owner with financial worries and you may want to make sure that you have made provisions for your pet’s care. Creating a trust to provide for the care of your animal can be a good solution to alleviate financial concerns.
When you create a trust and name a trustee, the trustee is bound by a fiduciary duty to obey the provisions you set forth in the trust document. This means if you want to make sure money is used to provide particular treats for a pet or otherwise to care for your animal in a specific way, you can include these details in your trust. Your trustee will carry out your wishes and your pet will be cared for just as if you were there to provide your love and attention.
Creating a comprehensive pet plan and making provisions for your pet to be cared for financially allows you to be certain your animal will be provided for and loved no matter what happens to you.
How Can a St. Louis Estate Planning Lawyer Help With Pet Planning?
Amen, Gantner & Capriano – Your Estate Matters, L.L.C. has extensive experience in the field of elder law and estate planning. We understand the importance of ensuring that all companion animals are cared for during the duration of their lives and we will help you to create a plan that is appropriate for your animal. Give us a call at 314-966-8077 or contact us online to learn more about the legal assistance that our St. Louis estate planning lawyers can offer with the pet planning process.