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How Can I Include a Pet in my New York Estate Plan?

How Can I Include a Pet in my New York Estate Plan?

People create an estate plan in order to protect their loved ones when they are no longer around to do so themselves. For many, their loved ones include their pets. Many people consider pets as a member of their family and want them to be taken care of in the event that they are incapacitated or pass away. This is possible through a pet trust. Continue reading below to learn more and contact an experienced New York estate planning attorney for assistance.

What is a Pet Trust?

A pet trust allows you to designate wishes and allot funds for your pet. This can be done in a  will, as part of a revocable living trust, or a stand-alone trust. It is important to be very specific when creating this trust and include instructions regarding the pet’s health care, veterinarians, burial, and how funds should be distributed when the pet eventually reaches death.  

How is a Pet Trust Set Up?

When creating a pet trust, the first step is to choose a trustee. In doing so, it is best to choose a trustee who is separate from the person who has custodial responsibility of the pet. This is so that one can manage finances and the other serves as guardian, looking after one another and making sure everything is in accordance with the deceased’s wishes. This is not always an easy decision, as you want to be sure your pet is in a loving home when you are no longer around.

Once the guardian and trustee are chosen, it is crucial that they are informed of their responsibilities. If they accept, an official document can be drafted with an inter vivos trust or testamentary trust. This document allows you to determine care for your pets. This includes allocating sufficient funds for the remainder of the pet’s life. It can help to choose backup trustees or guardians as a precaution. Consulting with an estate planning attorney can help ensure you have everything you need to know your pets will have a good home when you are gone.

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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