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Can You Include Your Pet in Your New York Estate Plan?

pet estate plan

If you want to ensure your pet is cared for after your death, please read on, then contact a skilled Rockland County will attorney to learn if you can include your pet in your New York estate plan.

Are you allowed to make your pet a beneficiary of your New York estate plan?

Under the laws of all 50 states, a pet owner can’t leave any part of his or her estate outright to a pet. However, you may leave a sum of money to the person or trustee designated to care for your pet with a request that the money be used for your pet’s care. As it so happens, you have 10 ways to ensure the proper care of your pet after your passing.

What are 10 estate plan provisions you can make for your pet in New York?

The 10 will provisions are as follows:

  1. Set up a Testamentary Trust in your Will: This allows you to leave your pet to caretakers and set aside funds for your pet’s care.
  2. Conditional bequests: With a “conditional bequest,” you leave both the pet and a sum of money to a beneficiary who can only use the money to care for the pet.
  3. Make a direct bequest to an individual who agrees to use the funds to care for the pet: Detail your expectations.
  4. Locate a shelter or humane organization in your area: Such an organization will help find a family to adopt your pet if you can’t find an individual you trust.
  5. State in your Will that your pets may not be used for medical research or product testing.
  6. Discuss your plans in advance with the trustees, caretakers, executors and organizations.
  7. Make a significant contribution to the lives of thousands of animals by remembering your favorite animal charity.
  8. Include a no-contest clause in your Will: This will reduce the chances of a challenge to your will.
  9. The Will should state that the costs of food, veterinary care, transportation and other expenses incurred by the Executor in caring for your pet should be paid from the estate.
  10. The Executor should be given copies of all applicable instructions to cover the interim period before letters testamentary are obtained.

Whatever you think best, you should reach out to a skilled Rockland County wills, trusts and estates attorney to discuss your next steps.

How can a Rockland estate plan attorney help your pet after your death?

In addition to fully apprising you of your rights and responsibilities, we will help draft your will in the strongest possible language to ensure your pet is properly cared for after you are no longer here to care for it. These matters can be tricky and fraught with unexpected difficulties, so let us handle the legal work.

Contact our Firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

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