Pets tend to have a firm and well-established role within the family. Sometimes, they have full membership. In the eyes of the law, however, pets enjoy a far lesser standing. This can make planning for the care of your pet difficult after you are gone.
“Pet trusts” have a decidedly less serious ring about them than a “Grantor Retained Annuity Trust.”
Legal jargon aside, pet trusts can be plenty useful little devices for a common problem, especially amongst elderly pet lovers in Overland Park and elsewhere.
In fact, a recent article in the Millionaire Corner considers a pet trust an estate planning basic. The article, titled “Estate Planning Basics: Creating a Pet Trust,” offers some practical pointers to consider.
Pets are family members to some, but to the law they are just another form of property. Nonetheless, this living, breathing “property” sometimes outlives its master and this fact of life is worthy of proper legal attention.
What happens when there is no a family member or friend to step up and take the pet? What if there is a potential caretaker, but that person simply cannot afford to care for your pet? By establishing a pet trust as part of your estate plan, you can set aside funds exclusively for the care of your pet, the caretaker and your own peace of mind.
Setting up a trust need not be too difficult, but it does take some preparation and foresight to keep it running efficiently when needed. Note: This is not a do-it-yourself program! You will want an experience estate planning attorney to create a pet trust as part of your estate plan.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri) and to download free tools to help you organize your estate, visit my estate planning website.
Reference: Millionaire Corner (April 28, 2014) “Estate Planning Basics: Creating a Pet Trust”