The bond between people and their pets is often very strong. Pets are cherished friends, and they become part of the family very quickly. In the unfortunate event that you as a pet guardian become incapacitated, ill or pass away, you want to be certain that your pet’s needs are well taken care of.
The best and most comprehensive way to make sure that your pet’s needs will be met is to establish a pet trust using the services of an attorney who is well-versed and experienced in this type of law.
Pet Wills v. Pet Trusts
You may think that adding instructions for the care of your pet in your will is adequate protection for your pet. However, a will has certain limitations in the protection that it provides. For instance, a will is only an instruction to the court as to how you want your assets divided. A judge is not always obligated to honor the wishes expressed in a will. Also, wills are sometimes challenged by other potential heirs. When this occurs, the care of your pet may be left up in the air until the will is settled.
There is another important consideration with a will. A will only comes into effect when you pass away. If you are incapacitated, a will does not allow for the care of your pet.
The Advantages of Pet Trusts
Pet Trusts offer a much greater level of protection for your pet’s interests than does a will alone. A trust offers protection for your pet during your life and after your lifetime.
Pet trusts allow you to be very specific in regard to what type of care you wish your pet to receive. In a trust agreement, you may specify who you want to take care of the pet and how much of your estate you wish the designated pet guardian to receive and when. When a trust is established, you may specify what type of veterinary care you wish your pet to receive and what type of food you wish your pet to be fed.
A trust also allows provisions for multiple pets. If you have two dogs or cats that are strongly bonded, you can state in the trust that these pets are not to be separated. The trust will stay in effect until the last pet covered under the terms of the trust passes away.
Pet trusts also allow you to direct what becomes of your pet upon death. If you want your pet to be buried in a pet cemetery, those instructions may be included in the trust document.
A pet trust will allow for the care of your pet even if others should seek to challenge your estate. The trust document and its provisions will be in effect even if some issues in your estate are working their way through the courts.
Contact Our Pet Trust Attorney
As with any important legal matter, it is essential that you receive the advice of an attorney who specializes in the field. For those who live in the Beverly, MA area, attorney Brandon Campbell is available to provide a consultation and detailed information regarding the establishment of a pet trust. Mr. Campbell is able to assist and answer your questions in this area as well as in other areas regarding estate planning. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.