Over the years there have been a number of sensational news articles about people who have left large amounts of money to a dog or cat. While none of the attorneys at Checkett & Pauly have ever had such a case, many of our clients have concerns about proper care for their beloved pets.
There are a number of easy solutions to this concern. The first is to make a bequest to an individual or a charity specifying that the gift is only if they continue to care for your pets. Your will or trust can also be prepared to allow the executor to choose someone to care for the pet and to use money from the estate or trust to be sure that your wishes are carried out. Finally, a more complicated solution is to actually establish a trust for your pets designating the person to take care of the animals and to provide proper care, using the trust monies for veterinary services, food and all other proper services for your pets.
No matter which alternative you choose, like all other aspects of your estate plan, it is important to advise your estate planning attorney about all of your wants and needs, and especially for those for family friends, and of course, pets.