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Pets are Family
Sitting on the Lake with my Pet

Pets are Family

We can all admit it. Our pets are part of our family. And they’ve earned it.

What will happen to your pets when you are gone? It can be hard enough to face the reality that our time is limited, but our pets might very well outlive us.  Certainly, you should prepare and maintain a current estate plan, preferably a Living Trust. Now you have protected your surviving family from unnecessary costs and taxes and prolonged grief. But, after you protect all those investments and property what about Old Faithful?

Protect All Your Valuables

You don’t want to leave your hard-earned assets to chance. Therefore, you should not leave the welfare of your pets to assumptions either.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization, if a pet owner does not leave specific plans, most pets are left homeless or in an animal shelter. During the confusion that accompanies a person’s unexpected illness, accident, or death, pets can be overlooked. Consequently, a pet is discovered in the person’s home days after the tragedy. Therefore, to prevent this from happening to your pet, the Humane Society provides these helpful suggestions:

Humane Society on Pets

Your Living Trust Protects Your Pet

The Humane Society says that, all too often, people erroneously assume that a long-ago verbal promise from a friend, relative, or neighbor to provide a home for a pet will be sufficient years later. Even conscientious individuals who include their pets in their Living Trusts may neglect to plan for contingencies in which an estate plan might not take effect, such as in the event of severe disability. For that reason, it is essential to appoint the most appropriate agent named in a current Power of Attorney document.

The best way to fulfill your wishes is to make formal arrangements, in a Living Trust,  that specifically covers the care of your pet. Above all, leave detailed instructions in your Trust and authorize funds to be used, at the discretion of the trustee, to provide for the temporary care of your animals, the costs for placing the pet in a new home, and transporting the animal to it.  We have sample language you can use in your Living Trust.

Taking care of your affairs includes taking care of your family. And your pet is part of that family.  

Living Trusts

A Revocable Living Trust is a written, legal document that allows you to privately and efficiently pass your assets (real property, bank accounts, stock, saving certificates, personal property, etc.) to your family, friends, or charities after your death – outside of Probate Court. (Remember, all Wills are subject to Probate. ) Your life insurance policies and deferred compensation accounts can name your Living Trust as beneficiary, subject to essential tax considerations.

Tom Tuohy

Learn more about Tom Tuohy

Tom Tuohy
Tom Tuohy

17220W 22nd Street  
Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, 60181

This blog entry has been created for information and planning purposes. It is not intended to be, nor should it be substituted for, legal advice, which turns on specific facts, as well as laws in specific jurisdictions. No reader of this blog should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this blog without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the reader’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

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