In many cases when an individual dies, the individual’s pets are surrendered to shelters. In other cases, pets are distributed to whoever receives other possessions of the deceased individual. With estate planning, however, individuals are frequently able to craft statements concerning exactly what should happen to pets after the individual’s death. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that approximately 400,000 pets each year must find new homes because their owners die. A skilled estate planning is often knowledgeable about how to craft provisions for the ongoing care of pets rather than just relying on other people to honor your wishes regarding a pet.
The Role of Pet Trusts
One of the most common types of estate planning tools to care for a pet are pet trusts. In pet trusts, individuals leave assets for the benefit of their pets. Pet trusts can be tailored to individuals in a variety of unique ways. For example, if a pet is pregnant at the time that the trust created, an individual can design the trust to care for the pet’s babies. Mostly, the trust’s creator has complete freedom to decide where any assets left in the trust will go after the death of a pet. The individual who makes sure that the property is used to take care of the pet is prohibited from using any portion of this amount in any manner that does not directly care for the pet. If anything happens to this appointed individual, Colorado courts have the authority to decide on another individual who will fulfill this role. These trusts will remain active until there is no living animal covered the trust or condition specified by the trust’s creator occurs.
The Role that Pet Trusts Play in Estate Planning
Although any individual with a pet might benefit from the creation of a pet trust, pet trusts are particularly useful for individuals who upon death or disability would not have an ideal relative, friend, or any other type of person to care for the pet. There are many ways in which individuals can add a pet trust into their estate planning methods. Many individuals decide to make pet trusts active upon the individual’s death, disability, or signing of the trust document. Pet trusts can also be written as part of a revocable living trust so that when the pet’s owner becomes disabled, the trust will provide for the care of the pet.
Reasons to Obtain the Services of a Top Colorado Estate Planning Lawyer
Well drafted estate planning for a pet can assure the continued safety, health and well-being of an individual’s pet or pets long after an individual’s death. Pets are just one of many reasons why thoughtful and strategic estate planning is essential. To make sure that your estate planning devices take all important critical elements into consideration, it is often a wise idea to contact the skilled legal counsel at Whitcomb, Selinsky, & McAuliffe, PC. Our practice has helped many individuals prepare sufficient estate plans. Do not hesitate to contact our firm online or call our practice at (866) 476-4558.