Pet Trusts and Pet Protection Agreements
While many people consider their pets and animal companions members of their family, they often do not consider what will happen to their pets if they die or become disabled. Unfortunately, the failure to properly plan for a pet’s continuing care can lead to the pet being placed in a shelter where it could quite possibly be euthanized. California (and many other states) allows pet owners to create pet trusts and pet protection agreements to provide for the care of their beloved pets in case of their death or disability. These agreements can help elderly or disabled owners and their pets remain together and ensure that the pets are well-cared for in case of their death or disability.How Pet Trusts and Pet Protection Agreements Work
Generally, a pet owner’s will should be drafted so that ownership of the pet passes at the owner’s death. In addition, pet trusts and pet protection agreements should be drafted to ensure that the pet is properly cared for in case of the owner’s incapacity and/or inability to properly care for the pet. A pet trust allows the pet owner to provide instructions for the pet’s care and direct the management and disbursement of funds throughout the pet’s life. The person who is appointed trustee of the pet trust has a fiduciary duty and legal obligation to carry out the terms of the pet trust. Pet trusts will ensure that funds are immediately available for care of the pet instead of tied up in probate. Further, the terms of the trust will remain private upon the owner’s death.
A pet trust agreement is a written agreement between at least two individuals or entities (pet owner and pet guardian). A pet owner can also include successor pet guardians in the agreement. Therein, the pet owner can leave instructions for the pet’s care.Other Pet Trust and Pet Protection Documents
Health care proxies can include notice of the existence of all pet documents and pets so that those handling the pet owner’s affairs are aware of the pet’s existence and that it need care. A wallet-sized emergency notification card can include the statement “I have pets at home that need care”. The proxy can also list the pets and their location so that they are not forgotten and are easily found. Powers of attorney can be drafted so that a pet owner’s agent has financial authority and directions to deal with the pets and to expend funds to provide the pets with the desired level of care.Contact Pet Trust Attorney David C. Hawkes, Esq.
If you are a pet owner and want to establish a pet trust or pet protection agreement, otherwise provide for your pet, contact San Diego Pet Trust Attorney and Pet Protection Agreement Lawyer David C. Hawkes, Esq. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss all your estate planning needs regarding your pets. My Estate Planning Law Firm is located in San Diego and I serve clients throughout Southern California including Orange County, Los Angeles Estate Planning, Riverside, San Bernardino and Estate Planning in San Diego County.