Having pets in your life can bring you great joy, but it is also a big responsibility to take on the care of an animal who is dependent upon you. Your pet relies on you to provide a safe and stable home and part of fulfilling this responsibility is to make sure there are plans in place for your pet to be cared for in case something happens to you.
There are legal tools you can use to protect your pet in case of incapacity or in case you pass away before your pet does. German Law can guide you through the process of making your pet plan so you will have the peace of mind of knowing that your animal will always be safe. To find out more about what is involved in the pet planning process, give us a call. You can get personalized advice on making plans for your pet and can get answers to questions you have about the pet planning process including:
- Why is making a pet plan important?
- What is involved in the pet planning process?
- How can a pet planning lawyer in Minnesota or North Dakota help you?
Why is Making a Pet Plan Important?
According to the ASPCA, there are 7.6 million companion animals who are surrendered each year, including both 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats. Tragically, 2.7 million animals are euthanized. Some of those animals are beloved companions who had no home to go to after their owner died.
You do not want to take any chances that your pet will end up homeless and uncared for if something happens to you. You may assume that your family will simply take care of your pet, but there are not always guarantees and you need to make plans to ensure that someone you trust will assume responsibility for your animal.
You can make plans for your pet’s future as part of a comprehensive estate planning process or you can simply work with German Law to create a pet plan that addresses the care of your animals.
What is Involved in the Pet Planning Process?
When you create a pet plan, you can decide how extensive you want your plan to be and how much protection you hope to be able to provide for your companion animals.
The simplest way to make a pet plan is to determine who should be guardian of your pet and specify in a last will and testament who will care for your pet. You should always talk with the person who you are choosing as your pet’s guardian to make sure they are willing to take on the responsibility of caring for the pet. You should also consider naming someone as a backup in case your first choice of guardian becomes unable to care for your pet when care is needed.
You may want to leave money to ensure that there are funds available to provide care for your animal. This can be done by leaving money in a will but of course your pet cannot directly inherit and this is not the best way to guarantee that the money you have left will actually be used to provide for your pet.
If you want to create a more comprehensive pet plan to ensure that the money you make available is used for your pet and for designated purposes – such as veterinary care or the purchase of favorite toys and treats – you can create a trust. You’ll name a trustee to manage trust assets, with your pet as the beneficiary, and provide specific instructions in your trust document regarding exactly how the money should be used.
When you create a trust, as opposed to when you simply leave money to your pet in your will, the trustee has a fiduciary duty to follow your instructions. This is the highest duty that can be owed under the law so you can have 100 percent confidence that the money will be used for your intended purposes so your beloved pet can still have a high quality of life after you are gone.
How can a Pet Planning Lawyer in Minnesota or North Dakota Help You?
The future is uncertain and you never know when or how something could happen to you. Don’t leave your animal vulnerable for any longer. Call German Law today to find out what is involved in the pet planning process and to learn more about how our legal team can help you to make a comprehensive pet plan.