According to a National Pet Owners Survey, 85 million Americans own a pet. For many in Nevada and throughout the country, they are treated like a part of the family. To make sure that a pet is cared for if its owner dies, it may be possible to establish a pet trust. In other cases, it might be advisable to designate a person or organization to provide care if its owner cannot do so.
If a beneficiary to the pet is named, that beneficiary inherits the pet when its owner passes away. it may be a good idea to also give money to the beneficiary to meet the animal’s needs. The same is true if an individual chooses to create a pet trust. It is important to keep the average life expectancy in mind when funding such a trust.
Those who are thinking of their pets while creating an estate plan don’t need to leave behind thousands or millions of dollars. While Oprah may be leaving $30 million for her dogs, most people only need to leave behind enough to pay for vet bills, food and other necessities. However, pet owners are free to ask for custom-made caskets for their cats or make other requests if allowed by law.
Ideally, will planning begins as soon as a person has anything worth protecting after he or she passes on. This may include making provisions for animals that outlive their owners. If animals are not included in a will or other portion of an estate plan, they may be sent to a shelter or otherwise dealt with in a way that may not adhere to an owner’s wishes.