If Something Should Happen to You, is Your Pet Cared For?

Pets are important members of our families. If you are a pet owner, you know just how important it is to make sure your pet is happy, cared for, and loved. But what if something happens to you and you can no longer care for your beloved furry friend? It is important to consider making sure that your pet is addressed in your estate plan. If you make arrangements in your will or trust to ensure your pet is cared for, you will not have to worry about what will happen to them in the event of your death or incapacitation. There are a few different ways you can ensure that your pet will be taken care of if something happens to you. If you wish to add a provision for your pet into your estate plan, the attorneys at The Leslie Legal Group can help.

Account for Your Pet in Your Will

One option is to provide for your family pet in your will, including instructions and a monetary gift for the animal’s care. However, in California, the law does not allow for a direct gift to an animal. Permitted beneficiaries include individuals, corporations, governments, and organizations, with no mention of animals. In order to work around this restriction, you can devise your pet to a specific beneficiary and ensure that you provide money to be used for the pet’s care. Unfortunately, California law does not allow for you to require that the money you provide is used for the care of an animal, but you can certainly make the suggestion.

Account for Your Pet in a Trust

Accounting for your pet in a trust is a more effective way to ensure your pet is provided for, as the California Probate Code does allow a trust to be established for the care of an animal. In that trust, you can establish who will get custody of your pet and provides funds that can go directly to the care of the animal in the event of your incapacitation or death. California Probate Code allows you to set aside any dollar amount you wish, even your entire estate, in a trust for your beloved furry family member. In the trust, you can also provide the specific information that the beneficiary would need to ensure your pet is cared for.

Contact an Experienced Attorney

It is vital to ensure that your assets are protected in the event of your incapacitation or death. Creation of an estate plan, including a plan to ensure your pet is cared for, can be a complex and overwhelming legal endeavor. The knowledgeable attorneys at the Leslie Legal Group are here to help guide you through this process and create an estate plan that is right for you. We will ensure that you understand every step in the estate planning process. Contact us today for a consultation.

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