In the autumn years of one’s life, a pet can become more than just a pet. She is a constant comfort, a loyal companion, and a mighty warrior. Your little dog or cat can become your best friend. While you may be considering arrangements for yourself should you become incapacitated, it’s easy to overlook that furry little friend tirelessly at your side.
In the past, pet owners would often include their beloved pet in their will. But since pets were legally viewed as personal property, nothing could be left to the pet once the will went into effect; in the eyes of the law, you can’t bequeath a car to your house, which was essentially how leaving money to care for a pet was viewed. This changed in the 1990s as states began to enact laws allowing the creation of pet trusts.
As of 2006, Pennsylvania was the 32nd state to validate a pet trust law, enabling Pennsylvanian pet owners to legally set aside instructions and finances to be used strictly for the future care of their pet and dispersed in accordance with the trust. The trust is established by the pet owner, who can set instructions in how to care for their pet. The pet owner can coordinate the primary caregiver of the pet, usually an adult child, trusted friend, or other relative. This designated person will administer the distribution of funds for the pet as stipulated in the trust.
Pet owners can rest easy, knowing that a trust can be established to make sure their favorite friend is taken care of in their absence. If the pet passes away before the funds are used, the pet owner can also stipulate how the remainder of the money should be dispersed, often going to a pet-care charity or rescue operation.
At Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC, we understand how end-of-life decisions can be complex, and how precious details can fall through the cracks. It’s important for you and your loved ones to know that everything is in good hands, and talking with a skilled elder care lawyer is fundamental to that peace of mind. When you are ready to discuss preparations for your future, give our Columbia County life care planning attorneys a call at (570) 784-5211 and set up a free consultation today.