Pet Estate Planning

Some Essential Tips for Pet Estate Planning

As a lover of animals, Bob Kalenda is committed to helping owners provide for their pets. In the event of a pet owner passing away, animal care is frequently overlooked amid the confusion and grief. There are ways to ensure that your pets’ futures are secure in the event that they outlive you. You can consult with Bob to find out more, just give Kalenda Law Office a call at (320) 255-8840.

Hachiko’s Story

There’s a famous story from Japan, maybe you know it, about a dog named Hachiko. He belonged to a university professor. When Hachiko’s owner stepped off the train every day after his journey home from work, Hachiko would be there to meet him at the station.

After his owner’s sudden death at work, every day, for the next nine years until his own death, Hachiko would arrive at the railway station, just before his master’s train was due to arrive, expecting his owner to alight from the train.

This is one of thousands of stories about love, affection, and loyalty between pets and their owners. If you have a pet that you love, you can probably relate to Hachiko’s story. Doesn’t it make sense then, when planning your estate, to include provisions for your pet’s care, in the event of your passing? Here’s how to rest easy about your animals’ futures, with a little pet estate planning.

Is it Possible to Make Wills for Pets?

In the eyes of the law, pets are considered as property. While you may love your pet like a child, consider it your friend and value its company more than that of people, it’s still considered your legal property. Therefore, pet wills don’t exist.

However, what you can do is make provision in your will for your pet’s care, though even this presents some pitfalls. Even if you make a provision for someone to take ownership of your pet and you leave some money to that person its care, your wishes cannot be enforced. Having become the owner of your pet, the person to whom you entrusted it, could take it straight to an animal shelter and use the money for something else.

Don’t despair though, there are ways that you can legally entrust your pet’s care to someone and make it stick. You can also provide funding that must legally be used to care for your pet. This can be done by setting up trusts for pets or pet protection agreements.

Pet Protection Agreements and Trusts for Pets

These two mechanisms are the best weapons in your pet estate planning armory. Trusts for pets and pet protection agreements allow you to specify legally who will care for your pets and how they use any funds that you provide. There are a few differences in the way these arrangements work. Trusts for pets allow for more provisions than pet protection agreements and an attorney’s help is needed to set them up.

The major advantage of pet protection agreements is that they combine the best elements of pet trusts, provisions in wills and binding contracts. They can be created without an attorney, though of course it’s still advisable to have professional help.

From one Pet Lover to Another

Bob Kalenda would like to help make sure your pet’s welfare is secured in the event of your passing or incapacitation. Just call Kalenda Law Office at (320) 255-8840, to schedule a free, pet estate planning consultation.