Would your pet be safe if something happened to you? That's a question every pet owner should be asking but surprisingly, very few actually do. In fact, studies show that fewer than 20% of pet owners make any provisions for the care of their pets in the event of death or disability. Even though their pets are often their most beloved and treasured companions.
Between the owner's death and the admission of the will to probate is a time often neglected in making provisions for one's animals. The start of probate can take between several weeks and several months to get rolling. Even though your will makes provisions for their care, no action can be taken by the executor until the will has been admitted to probate and the executor has received the authority to proceed by the issuance of "letters testamentary."
Therefore, a provision which should be included in all wills where animals are involved is one allowing the executor to use estate funds to care for the animal for the period before the animal goes to the new home(s) designated by the pet owner.
The will should state that the costs of food, veterinary care, transportation and other expenses incurred by the executor in caring for your animals is to be paid from the estate as an estate administration expense, whether or not the expenses are deductible for estate tax purposes.
Many people don't have a trusted, willing friend or relative to appoint as guardian for their pet. They worry about what will happen to their pet when they pass away. Registering your pet with a local pet adoption group provides peace of mind about the fate of your pet. When their owner dies will receive loving care and attention while they work to place them in the best possible home.
A pet trust is a formal arrangement between you and two other persons, the trustee and the beneficiary. The beneficiary is the person you will designate to take care of your pet in case you die or become disabled. The trustee is the person that will manage the funds for your pet's care expenses, including the beneficiary's compensation, if any.
In a pet trust you can name the person that will take care of your pet. You can specify the type of medical care that you want for your pet, the name of the veterinarian that will provide that care and the critical decisions that you would normally have to make should your pet go into a comma or vegetative state.
You can also stipulate how often is your pet going to be groomed, what its diet going to be, how are any special needs going to be met and how often will any other of your family relatives going to be able to socialize with it.
You can also provide for your pet's final arrangements when it's passing, should it be buried or cremated. Is there going to be any memorial or commemorative ceremony or special service? In brief, in a pet trust you can arrange for everything and anything that you want for your pet in your absence or temporary unavailability.
Don't let the unthinkable does happen, protect your pet in accordance with your wishes to keep your pet from ending up a in poorly run shelter or worse, euthanized because no one is prepared to accept the responsibility of their care.