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Estate Planning for Pets

With the increasing number of Americans who own pets, estate planning which includes pet-planning provisions are becoming more and more common. There are several options to provide for the care of a pet upon your death or disability. On our website and in past blogs, we have discussed pet trusts. Pet trusts are now enforceable in California, however you have to name a friend or family member to be the caregiver of your pet. Another option is to make a gift in your trust providing a sum of money to a named individual who will care for your pet.

There is another option for for pet owners started by University of California, Davis School of Vetererinary School called TLC for Pets. The school finds permanent loving homes and lifetime veterinary care for animals after their owner’s death. The school’s vets meet with the client and the pet or horse to match the pet with a suitable caretaker. The caretakers are usually members of the school or community members and friends that love animals.

As part of their estate plan, the pet owner gives a donation to UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. There is also an enrollment fee of $1000. Funds that are not needed for your particular pet will be used for other pets’ care whose funds have run out. Other veterinary schools are starting similar programs using the Davis model.

If you need help adding “pet provisions” to your exisiting trust or creating a pet trust for your pet, call us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation. We can help you decide what type of estate planning is right for you and your pet.

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