Last year we posted a blog about cats living it up in a retirement home in Spring Valley thanks to a pet trust. Wherever you are in San Diego County, do you consider your pets part of the family? You are not alone if you do. 87% of Americans consider their pet a family member. Do you need estate planning for this family member? If you have a number of family members or friends that will step in to care for your pet, then maybe not. If any of the following are true, however, you might consider having a pet trust.
1. You have pets with a long life expectancy. Some pets are almost sure to outlive you. Birds and reptiles have exceptionally long lives. Some turtles can live almost 100 years. A macaw for example can live to be 80. Horses have a life expectancy of twenty to thirty years.
2. You live alone. If you live alone with your pet, you need to consider who would step in and care for your pet if something happened unexpectantly to you.
3. You have a chronic illness or your life expectancy is shorter than your pet. If you pet is likely to outlive you for some reason, you may need to consider making arrangements for care after you pass away.
4. Your pet is one that not just anyone can care for. Horses for example have to be cared for by someone that has experience with horses. An expensive show horse requires someone who can manage the training, feeding, and showing of the horse. A dog that is a Great Dane cannot be taken in by just anyone. Perhaps your grandson or daughter live in a apartment or have a new baby.
5. You have multiple pets. If you have a bird aviary, a stable of horses, a petting zoo perhaps, it may be difficult to find a family member or friend that can care for them. To keep your pets together, you may want to consider a pet trust.
6. Family members would not be good pet caretakers. There are many reasons why a family member may not be a good choice to care for your pet. Maybe they are allergic to cats, hate dogs, or maybe they just don’t have the time to give your pet the love and attention it is used to.
7. You have a guardian for your pet but the guardian needs assets for the pet’s care. Maybe you have a wonderful pet lover in mind to care for your pet, but that individual doesn’t have the resources to take care of the pet for the pet’s lifetime. In that case, a pet trust can solve the problem by setting aside assets in trust for the care and maintenance of your pet.
Read more about pet trusts and contact us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation for a free consultation. We can help you estimate how much should be set aside for your pet and decide who will be the human trustee to manage the trust.