Including pets in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2018 | Estate Planning

People in Nevada who are creating an estate plan might be concerned about what will become of their assets after their death and ensuring that their children and other family members are taken care of. However, if they have beloved pets, they may also want to make sure they are cared for as well.

Pets are generally still considered property under law, so arrangements can be made for them in an estate plan like other pieces of property. One way is to simply include a line in the will about who gets the pet. However, it is important to choose someone who can be trusted to take good care of the pet since there is nothing to stop the person from giving the pet to a shelter.

Many states allow a letter or memorandum to be added to a will. However, people may want to consult an attorney about the rules for creating one. This could be an option if a person needs to make arrangements in a hurry, such as just before having surgery, and there is not time to amend a will.

A trust is another alternative. This names a caretaker and sets aside funds to care for the pet that will be managed by a trustee. Any funds remaining after the pet’s death may pass to another beneficiary.

People might want to put other items that do not necessarily have significant monetary value in their last will and testament. For example, there might be sentimental items that family members would fight over if they were not included in the will. People might want to think about other ways to reduce the likelihood of conflict or challenges to the estate plan. For example, they may want to discuss the estate plan with family members, particularly if there is a special case like assets distributed unevenly among children.