Statistics released by the Insurance Information Institute reveal that the majority of households in the United States — approximately 65 percent — have one pet or more. For many families, a pet is more than an animal but a beloved member of the family. Even further, some reports by the National Center for Health Research found that elderly people who cared for a pet were better able to care for themselves, sometimes preventing the need for an assisted living facility. Because of their concern for their pets, many people in Georgia want to ensure that their pets’ needs are met even when they are unable to do so on their own, often prompting them to seek information on tools such as trusts
Pet owners can leave detailed instructions to their family members about how they want their pet cared for after their death. Some people choose to write a letter of instruction, explaining the importance of the pet and details regarding its care. However, because pets are considered personal property under the law, money or assets cannot be left directly to a pet.
Fortunately, there are other options. For example, many people create a pet trust. With such a tool, pet owners can leave detailed instructions regarding the care of the animal, including what kind of food the pet eats. Most importantly, a pet trust can provide funds that will provide for the care of the pet in addition to instructions on how any unnecessary funds should be used.
Trusts have many benefits. In order to ensure that they are properly set up so that they can fulfill their intended purpose, people in Georgia often ask for help from an attorney with experience concerning the creation of estate planning documents. Taking such steps can help people ensure that their wishes are known and being met even when they are no longer able to personally express them.
Source: marketwatch.com, “How to plan for your pets when you die“, Brad Wiewel, March 22, 2017