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Providing for Pets in Your Estate Planning

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Estate planning is for all members of the family – even the furry ones. Don’t forget your pets in estate planning. One way to take care of pets in estate planning is through a pet trust. Although often an overlooked part of an estate plan, ensuring that your pet will be taken care of after you die is important. Sixty-eight percent of American households have pets. Under the law, however, a pet is considered property. So in a worst case scenario, the lack of a pet trust could lead to the unintended placement of your beloved pet into a shelter. You can create a testamentary trust that is enacted upon death as long as you designate funds to go into the trust. You could also create a trust if you become incapacitated and are unable to care for your pet.

Providing for your pet after you die

Billionaire Leona Helmsley left her dog 12 million dollars. It is not necessary, however, to be wealthy to provide for your pet in your will. In a will, you can appoint a Trustee to manage your pet’s money and a Guardian to provide physical care for your pet. That person may be the same, but does not have to be. You should consider who will best care for your pet, and who will best manage your pet’s money. Set aside any amount of money that you would like to for your pet. Trusts can be created for any kind of pet. People have established trusts for all kinds of animals, such as horses, ponies, snakes and tortoises. Some pets, such as horses, have longer life spans; so creating care provisions may be even more relevant for some animals than for others.

At Whitcomb, Selinsky, PC we understand how important pets are and the importance of taking care of
them in your estate plan. If you are looking for a pet trust attorney in Denver, please call for a free  consultation.

About the AuthorMichael Milazzo

Michael grew up in northern New England and received his B. Sc. (cum laude) In biology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a focus on plant physiology. As an undergraduate, Michael published several papers in scientific journals related to plant biotechnology. Upon graduation, he worked in research chemical engineering firms, specializing in the formulation and optimization of multicomponent photocatalysts for the destruction of toxic gases. Michael is a co-inventor on patents related to this work.


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