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Looking After Pets in Your Estate Plan

Posted on in Estate Planning

Lombard estate planning attorneyAn estate plan generally involves human heirs, such as children and grandchildren, but this is not always the case. Some individuals have non-human dependents to consider. Does that mean everyone should include their pet in an estate plan? Not necessarily, yet it might be worth considering if there is even the slightest possibility that your companion may outlive you. It is important to realize that this provision might be important, and how you can take the first step toward implementing it in your estate plan.

Why Plan for Your Pets?

When the owner of an animal dies or becomes incapacitated, the animal may end up at a shelters, especially if there are no family members who are willing to take on the responsibilities of surrogate pet ownership. It happens so frequently, in fact, that estimates suggest some 100,000 to 500,000 pets are admitted to a shelter after their owner’s death or incapacitation. How do these once companions end up in shelters?

Often, it is the friends, family, or children of the deceased that surrender them. Perhaps they do not have the room income to care for the animal, or have tried to care for it but do not know how to do so appropriately. Still others might have allergies, small children, or other extenuating circumstances that make caring for an animal difficult or nearly impossible.

Whatever the reason may be, older Americans are starting to take this into consideration when creating their estate plan. Yet many are not quite sure of where to start. This is where an estate planning attorney can assist.

Considerations to Make When Estate Planning for a Pet

While Illinois law does allow for the creation of pet trusts, there are special circumstances that must be considered. For example, you may need assistance in determining who is best suited to care for your animal, or in ensuring that the verbiage of your estate plan explicitly states what the allocated funds are meant to cover. Another possibility you may want to consider is the naming of a second caregiver; this can cover the death, incapacitation, or lack of desire to care for the animal of your primary caregiver choice.

Getting Started on Your Estate Plan

Whether you have five pets or one, A. Traub & Associates is the firm to call. Dedicated to preserving the best interests of those you love most, our experienced Lombard estate planning lawyers can help you develop creative solutions that are designed to satisfy your needs. Schedule a confidential consultation to learn more. Call 630-426-0196 today.

 

Sources:

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-planning/pet-trust-laws

http://www.humanesociety.org/news/magazines/2013/07-08/backup-plan-planning-for-pets-after-owner-death.html

http://www.today.com/news/pet-estate-planning-not-just-leona-helmsley-anymore-wbna43503433

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