Pet ownership can certainly be beneficial for lonely senior citizens. It is uplifting to have a dog or cat in your home, and you can also experience a renewed sense of purpose, because a living, breathing family member would be depending on you once again.
You may recognize the value of pet ownership, but longevity concerns can enter the picture. A question may coalesce in your mind: Can a person provide for a pet in a last will?
This is a good question, and the short answer is yes.
If you were to decide that you would like to provide for your pet in your last will, you could would name someone to care for the pet. You could ask around among the people that you know to find someone who would be willing to care for the pet after you are gone (if you do in fact die first).
Once you identify a willing caregiver, you could name this person in your last will. You would leave an inheritance to the caregiver with the understanding that the money would be used to care for the pet.
There is another alternative that can provide added benefits. You could create a trust for the benefit of a pet. Pet trusts are now legal in most of the states, and you can create a pet trust if you are a resident of North Dakota.
With a pet trust, you can provide for your pet in a more comprehensive manner.
When you establish the trust, you name a trustee. The trustee could be the person who actually cares for the pet, but this is not required. You could name a separate caretaker, or you could have the trustee find a suitable caretaker after you are gone.
In the trust agreement you can include very specific instructions with regard to how you want the pet to be cared for after your passing, and this can provide you with peace of mind.
In addition to this, if you were to leave a caretaker a direct bequest through the terms of a last will, how do you know how much to leave? If you err to the side of excess, the caretaker could potentially wind up with money left over after the death of the pet that you really did not want to leave to the caretaker.
On the other hand, if you establish a pet trust, you could name a successor beneficiary to assume ownership of anything that may remain in the trust after the pet’s death.
Free Special Report
If you would like to obtain more detailed information about pet planning, download our in-depth special report. The is no charge for the report, and you can visit this page to obtain your copy: Grand Forks ND Pet Planning.
Latest posts by Raymond German, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- My Mother Just Passed Away. Now What Do I Need to Do? - December 12, 2019
- Income Tax Basis in Estate Planning - December 10, 2019
- 5 Considerations for the First-Time Executor - December 5, 2019