Providing for pets in an estate plan

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2019 | Trusts

When Nevada residents are planning their estate, they might first think about how they can provide for their children or a favored charity. However, for many people, pets are a beloved part of their lives, as close as a family member and with no ability to provide for themselves. Many pets can live long lives, and their owners want to make sure that the pets will continue to enjoy a good life even after they are no longer personally able to provide it. People can include their pets in their estate plan in order to help protect their animal companions’ future.

Around 66% of Americans own a pet. Unlike human loved ones, pets will never be able to provide for themselves. People might ask their friends or relatives to care for their animals after they pass away, but without a formal system in place, some pets may wind up at a shelter. Even though pets are property that can be passed in a will, this is often insufficient to provide a greater level of protection. The pet will need care while the will is under probate before it becomes the property of the new owner.

A pet trust can be one important way for people to protect their animals after death. It could be part of an existing trust or an entirely new document. This would allow a person to identify a pet caregiver and creates an obligation to provide proper care as described. This kind of trust would also provide funds to ensure the care of the pet.

Trusts can provide greater levels of privacy and control that can be particularly important when planning for the future of a vulnerable animal. They can be utilized for other purposes as well, which an estate planning attorney can describe.