Legal Guide

Estate Planning– Your Pets Deserve Protection Too!

Pets are common in the United States. In almost every house, whether the house has a family or a bachelor, the possibilities of a pet are high. Whether you have a dog, cat, horse, or more exotic pet like a snake or lizard, you must love them and consider them your family. Certainly, you would not want your companion to be thrown out after you pass away or become incapacitated. 

If you do not know about pet trusts, it is time you start learning about them. A pet trust is a legal document that specifies what happens to your pet when you can no longer care for them. Through a pet trust, you can take financial care of them after you are gone. Consult with a Monroe estate planning lawyer to get to know more about it. 

Can you include your pets in your estate plan?

Under North Carolina law, pets are considered personal property. Therefore, you can include them in your will and state your wishes about how you want to take care of them after your death. It is usually a good idea to pass down your pet to someone in your family or a friend who is an animal lover. For example, if your friend is a dog lover, you can pass your dog to them. 

What is a pet trust?

A pet trust is similar to a living trust, where there is a grantor and a trustee. In this case, the grantor is the person with the pet, and you can specify how you want to handle your assets on behalf of your pet through a trustee. The trustee is responsible for handling the assets and cash, which are meant for your pet’s benefit only. The funds included in a pet trust should only be used to take care of the pet and nothing else. 

What information can you include in a pet trust?

You can include various information in a pet trust. While there are no limitations to what you can include, here are some common ones: 

  • Routine veterinary check-ups
  • Exercise and companionship care
  • Emergency veterinary care
  • Grooming costs
  • Feeding and boarding costs

Reasons to create a pet trust. 

Perhaps the biggest reason to create a pet trust is that you love them and want to look after them even when you are gone. Other reasons you may wish to consider include the following: 

  • Your pet has a high life expectancy rate, and you want to take care of them.
  • You have multiple pets and do not wish to separate them.
  • Your pet requires special care due to a disability.
  • Your family does not like pets or is not suited to care for them. 

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