Have you been through an airport lately? It feels like your local park with the amount of dogs traveling these days. People have always loved their pets, and for those clients without children, the pets are an important part of the family. What happens if you pass away? What should you do during retirement planning to care for your pet?
What Steps Can We Take During Retirement Planning?
I am currently working with several families that want to make sure their pets are cared for when they die. My attorney is creating a legal Trust to provide for those pets for the rest of their lives. Start with an experienced estate attorney who is familiar with the different types of Trust. In my practice we have done over 160 estate plans in just the last 3 years. By using a Trust we potentially can protect the funds from the probate court, inheritance taxes and long term health issues.
The important decision is selecting the right Trustee. It may be obvious but you need to trust your Trustee. They have a fiduciary responsibility to carry out your wishes when you pass. Next is how do we fund the Trust. I prefer to use assets that you can add to over time. These assets would be owned by the Trust and the Trust would be the beneficiary of those assets. Finally, what happens to the funds once all of your pets have passed? The Trust language would be designed so that potentially an animal shelter, friends or even other family members could share any remaining funds.
Knowing that your beloved pets will be taken care of when you pass can take away a lot of anxiety and fear. If I can help please call my office to schedule a meeting.